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Complaints and Appeals Procedure (Applications)

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1. Principles

1.1. At Cardiff University we are committed to the provision of high quality, fair, and transparent admissions procedures for all our applicants that is free from bias and prejudice. We recognise, however, that there may be occasions when an applicant will feel dissatisfied with the conduct of the University’s admissions process or its outcome.

1.2. Cardiff University makes significant effort to ensure that minimum entry requirements (including non-academic requirements) for its courses are accessible. For most of our programmes this will be via the course information provided on the Study pages of the Cardiff University website (via the Coursefinder tool) and for undergraduate programmes via UCAS course search.

1.3. We encourage applicants who experience a problem with the service to initially raise the matter informally with the Admissions Team via admissions@cardiff.ac.uk. Should you then wish to formally appeal the decision made on your application, or wish to make a formal complaint about any aspect of the admissions process (having first contacted the Admissions Team on an informal basis), a formal complaints and appeals procedure is available as detailed in this document (section 4).

1.4. Appeals and complaints are only considered on permitted grounds, which will be managed through consistent, fair, and transparent procedures in a timely way.

1.5. You will not be disadvantaged in any way because you have used the Complaints and Appeals Procedure.

1.6. This policy should be read in association with:

2. Definitions

2.1. An appeal is defined as a request for the review of a selection decision and/or the outcome of an application.

2.2. A complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction about the conduct of any aspect of the University’s recruitment or admission process.

3. Who can use the Appeals and Complaints Procedure?

3.1. This procedure is for anyone who has encountered an issue at any stage of the Cardiff University application process*.

* A complaints and appeals policy is available for current students of Cardiff University at intranet.cardiff.ac.uk/students.

3.2. The procedure applies to all applicants, whether submitting their application directly to the University, via a third party such as UCAS, or as a request for an internal transfer within the University.

3.3. Appeals which are submitted by third parties without the consent of the applicant will not be considered, nor will complaints which are submitted anonymously be investigated.

i. You can nominate a representative to manage your complaint or appeal on your behalf. To do this the applicant must email applicantappeals@cardiff.ac.uk using the email address supplied on their application form to confirm the name and email address of the person they wish to act on their behalf.

3.4. Appeals based on challenges to the judgement of selectors in relation to the academic and non-academic selection criteria for its programmes will not be considered unless there is evidence that an application has not been treated consistently with other applications for the same programme of study during the decision making process.

3.5. You can use this procedure to complain within the same admissions cycle that complaint has arisen in.

3.6. You can use this procedure to appeal up to 28 calendar days following receipt of the University’s decision.

i. You must provide a good reason or extenuating circumstances for submitting your appeal outside of the 28 calendar days for the appeal to be considered. The Head of Admissions or nominee shall consider the reason for lateness and confirm whether the appeal will be accepted for consideration; this decision will be final.

4. Procedure

4.1. Stage 1a – Informal Feedback After Rejection

If you would like to know why your application was rejected then you are encouraged to initially raise the matter with the Admissions Team, via admissions@cardiff.ac.uk. We aim to provide a response to you explaining the main reason for rejection, in writing, within 10 working days of receipt of your request.

4.2. Stage 1b – Informal Appeal

i. If after you have received informal feedback (see 4.1) you wish for you application to be reconsidered, this can be done formally (see 4.3) or informally (4.2.ii).

ii. If you have additional information which was not included on your original application, such as qualifications or prior learning/knowledge, you may request for your application to be reconsidered. This request should be submitted in writing to applicantappeals@cardiff.ac.uk with copies of the additional information supplied as attachments. We aim to provide a response to you, in writing, within 10 working days of receipt of your request.

4.3. Stage 2 – Formal Complaint or Appeal

i. Whilst most cases are resolved by the provision of informal feedback or informal appeal, if you remain unsatisfied with the decision taken on your application or are unhappy with the way an application has been handled, then a formal complaint or appeal can be submitted. This should be submitted in writing to the following address:

For the attention of: The Head of University Admissions

Email: applicantappeals@cardiff.ac.uk

Post (only if unable to contact us via email):

Cardiff University
McKenzie House
30-36 Newport Road
Cardiff

CF24 0DE

ii. A complaint should be submitted in writing within the same admissions cycle that complaint has arisen in. Your complaint should include all the following information:

  1. Your name, email address, postal address, and (if appropriate) your application number;
  2. Details of the programme you have applied for;
  3. The nature of the complaint, giving as much detail as possible;
  4. Any steps that have already been taken to resolve the matter;
  5. Details of any responses you have received and a statement of why you feel that response is unsatisfactory;
  6. Any evidence to support your complaint;
  7. An indication of the outcome you are seeking.

iii. An appeal should be submitted in writing within 28 calendar days of the University’s decision. Your appeal should include all the following information:

  1. Your name, email address, postal address, and application number;
  2. Details of the programme you have applied for;
  3. Specific details of the ground(s) for the appeal;
  4. Any evidence to support your appeal;
  5. An indication of the outcome you are seeking.

iv. You will normally be informed within 10 working days in writing whether the appeal or complaint will be considered under the formal procedure.

v. If the appeal or complaint is accepted, an investigation will take place, led by the Head of University Admissions or nominee, with input from the Admissions Team, Academic School, or other parts of the University as appropriate. If we require further information from you, or anticipate a delay in responding, we will write to you by email advise you.

vi. We aim to respond to your complaint or appeal in writing within 28 working days of receipt of all information. If it should prove impossible to respond fully within the timeframe, you will be informed in writing of the timescale for the receipt of a full response. The response will include details of the investigation which has taken place, will outline the response to the investigation from areas of the University involved, and will detail the findings of the investigation.

vii. If your complaint or appeal is upheld, the University will take such reasonable action as is appropriate and you will be informed of the outcome in writing. If your appeal is not upheld, we will communicate the reasons for this decision in writing.

viii. Reasonable action resulting from an appeal which is upheld would be to reconsider the application. In such circumstances, the University may not be able to guarantee admission in the academic session initially requested; admission at an alternative point of entry may be offered.

ix. Reasonable action to remedy a complaint which is upheld could, for example, include an apology or an undertaking to revise procedure.

4.4. Stage 3 – Independent review by the Academic Registrar

i. If you are not satisfied with the way the investigation at Stage 2 was conducted in respect of your appeal or complaint, you can request an independent review. The University’s independent reviewer is the Academic Registrar or their nominee. A request for a case to be reviewed must be made within 7 calendar days of the date of the written outcome of Stage 2, and submitted in writing to the following address:

For the attention of: The Academic Registrar

Emailapplicantappeals@cardiff.ac.uk

Post (only if unable to contact us via email):

Admissions Support Team
Cardiff University
McKenzie House
30-36 Newport Road
Cardiff

CF24 0DE

ii. In your request, you should clearly explain the reasons why you are unsatisfied with the investigation at Stage 2. The Academic Registrar or nominee will carry out a review of the Stage 2 investigation, taking all relevant facts into consideration. The Academic Registrar may decide to:

  • Uphold the complaint or appeal, either in full or partially;
  • Or conclude that there are insufficient grounds to take any further action and conclude the matter under this process.

iii. We aim to notify you of the decision of the Academic Registrar or nominee in writing within 28 working days of receipt of the request. If it should prove impossible to respond fully within the timeframe, you will be informed in writing of the timescale for the receipt of a full response. The decision of the Academic Registrar will be final, and no further correspondence will be entered into.

5. Storage and Processing of Complaints and Appeals Information

5.1. All complaints and appeals will be dealt with confidentially and with due regard for privacy. Information may be disclosed to members of the University who have a need to see it to investigate the appeal or complaint.

5.2. The information will be stored and processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (2018). The record of the complaint/appeal and any supporting papers will be destroyed two calendar years following resolution of the case.

6. Contact Details

For further information about this procedure please contact the Admissions Support Team:

Email: applicantappeals@cardiff.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)29 20879999

Post: Admissions Support Team
Cardiff University
McKenzie House
30-36 Newport Road
Cardiff
CF24 0DE