Consultation on draft updated OIA Scheme Rules

We have today (29 January 2024) published for consultation draft updated Rules of the OIA Scheme.

View the Consultation
Rules Consultation Image

As a result of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023, we need to make a change to the OIA Scheme Rules. This is to take account of the legislative provision that we cannot review a complaint about the same matters and from the same person as a complaint that is being or has been considered by the free speech complaints scheme provided by the Office for Students.

We are also taking the opportunity to update our Rules more generally. This includes amendments to be clearer about the meaning of some terms and about some of our processes, to adjust some of the language, and in early preparation for the expansion of our remit in Wales to cover further education complaints (substantive changes relating to that expansion will be the subject of a separate Rules consultation at a later date).

We invite comments on the draft updated Rules from sector bodies, higher education providers, student representative bodies, students and anyone else with an interest.

The closing date for responses to the consultation is 8 March 2024.

We plan to bring the updated Rules into effect from 1 August 2024, to align with the start of the OfS free speech complaints scheme.


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Sarah Liddell, Head of Leadership Office,, 0118 959 9813.

  1. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) is the independent student complaints ombuds for higher education in England and Wales. It is the designated operator of the student complaints’ scheme under the Higher Education Act 2004.
  2. Our Scheme is free to students and has been designed to be accessible to all students, without the need for legal representation.
  3. We have a wide remit to review student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales.
  4. The Rules of our Scheme set out how our Scheme works, who can complain, what we can and can’t look at, how we review complaints, and what higher education providers are expected to do in relation to our Scheme.
  5. The consultation on the updated Rules is available at It will remain open until 8 March 2024.
  6. You can find further information about the Scheme and our work at