Faculty of Social Sciences
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How to complain

We do our best to provide quality education in a pleasant and stimulating learning environment. Nevertheless, it is possible that you are dissatisfied with certain parts of the programme. If this is the case, you can file a complaint or make an objection. The questions and answers below offer you all the information that you need.

Discussing your dissatisfaction

Have you discussed your dissatisfaction with the person or body in question? Filing and handling complaints costs both parties time and energy. It is more constructive and efficient if the parties involved are able to work out the problem together, which, in this situation, is the most common outcome. Nevertheless, this type of situation does require you to formulate your criticism constructively and respectfully.
Solving the problem together is also known as ‘settling the situation amicably’. Other parties will usually only get involved if attempts have already been made to settle the situation amicably.
The requirements for initially trying to settle a situation amicably does not apply to complaints concerning inappropriate behaviour or academic integrity violations.

If you do not personally dare to discuss the complaint with the person in question, then ask for assistance from one of your fellow students, your mentor or the student advisor.

Filing a complaint or making an objection

If there is really no chance of working the problem out together with the other party, you can file a complaint or make an objection. The difference between the two actions is important because each one has different consequences. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the situation. An objection is a protest against a formal decision, such as a given grade or Binding Study Advice (BSA).

Does it involve an individual complaint? 
Then go to the Central Complaints Office and fill in the complaints form. The legal department will make sure that your complaint is handled by someone within the department (e.g. the Director of Education) and you will be informed of what happens. Anonymous complaints will not be taken into consideration.

Does it involve a shared complaint?
If many students have the same complaint about a specific part of the programme, these complaints can also be submitted collectively. It is also worth bringing complaints about education to the attention of the Programme Committees, of which students are also members.

Would you like to make an objection to an appraisal or a grade given for a course, internship or thesis? 
These types of objections can be taken to the Examinations Appeals Commission (EAC). Your objection should be submitted within six weeks after the decision has been announced.

Would you like to make an objection to a different type of decision? 
The letter which informs you of the decision often includes information that explains how you can object to the decision. Once a decision has been made about an objection, it is often possible to appeal to a higher body. In this case, attention should also be paid to the period in which the objection may be made.