OIA announces planned departure of Independent Adjudicator in 2023

The OIA has announced that after 18 years at the OIA, Felicity Mitchell, Independent Adjudicator has decided not to seek a second term when her current term of office ends in April 2023. Ben Elger will continue as Chief Executive.

Felicity said:

“Over the last 18 years I have been privileged to see the OIA grow into the confident, professional and kind organisation it is today. I am very proud to have been part of this, and particularly to have led the organisation, with Ben, over the last four years. We still have much to do and I look forward to building on what we have achieved and meeting the challenges to come over the next 16 months.”

Dame Suzi Leather, OIA Chair said:

“I am hugely grateful to Felicity for everything she has already done and continues to do for the OIA. As Independent Adjudicator she has, together with Ben Elger, Chief Executive, so ably led the organisation, which has grown in standing and in its contribution to the pursuit of greater fairness for students under their leadership. The Board will now lead a recruitment process to appoint a new Independent Adjudicator to work alongside Ben to take forward the OIA’s important work.”

Ben Elger, Chief Executive said:

“Felicity has been an inspirational presence at the OIA throughout the first two decades of our operation and absolutely central to the development of a respected, forward-focused and independent ombuds organisation. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with Felicity jointly leading the organisation over the last four years. I’m looking forward to continuing our work together in the very important year ahead before welcoming and working alongside the new Independent Adjudicator in 2023.”


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Jenn Runde, Communications Officer, mediarelations@oiahe.org.uk, 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, as set out in the Rules of our Scheme.
  4. You can find further information about the Scheme and our work at https://www.oiahe.org.uk/
  5. The OIA has a joint leadership structure, with two equal positions of Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive.
  6. The Independent Adjudicator is normally appointed for a first term of five years, with the possibility of a second term of three years.
  7. Felicity Mitchell joined the OIA in 2004, and became a Deputy Adjudicator in 2009. In 2018 she was appointed to a five-year term of office as Independent Adjudicator, which ends in April 2023.