OIA publishes Operating Report 2021 and Operating Plan 2022

We have published our Operating Report 2021 and our Operating Plan 2022.

View our Operating Reports and Plans
Image of a notepad and a pen

We received 2,763 complaints in 2021, which is a 6% increase on 2020 and once again our highest ever number. In addition we received one complaint from a large group of students. Despite the high volume of cases and the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we met most of our targets for timeliness of our processes and we closed our highest ever number of cases (2,654), 2% more than in 2020.

We continued to share learning and encourage good practice. We delivered a high number of webinars and online events in response to demand and further developed our online resources for providers, students and their representative bodies.

We have continued to work with governments and key organisations in the sector and beyond, drawing on our experience of student complaints as an independent ombuds organisation to promote fairness for students across a range of issues and in responding to the complex and challenging ongoing impacts of the pandemic. We have also continued to work towards our longstanding aim of extending access to our Scheme to all who could benefit from it, including through planned legislation in Wales.

Our Operating Report 2021 records progress against our Operating Plan for 2021. As usual we will more fully explore trends and themes from the year in our Annual Report 2021, which we will publish in the Spring.

Our Operating Plan 2022 is based around our four key priorities through which we fulfil our purpose: reviewing student complaints, sharing learning, working effectively with others and continually developing our organisation. The Plan sets out what we intend to do in 2022 to advance each of these priorities and what we aim to have achieved by the end of the year.


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. Students normally need to complete their higher education providers’ internal complaints or appeals procedures before they can come to us. 
  5. You can find further information about the Scheme and our work at https://www.oiahe.org.uk/