Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Questions (65)

Mick Barry


65. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science if his attention has been drawn to the practice in some third level institutions of withholding exam results for exams taken during the year for those students who have not fully paid their fees; if he will consider instructing institutions to stop the practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43316/20]

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Written answers (Question to Further and Higher Education)

Higher Education Institutions are autonomous institutions within the meaning of the Universities Act 1997, the Institutions of Technology Acts 1992 to 2006 and the Technological Universities Act 2018. Under this legislation the institutions are academically independent and are entitled to regulate their own academic affairs and administrative processes, including in relation to the issuing of exam results. Neither I nor my Department have a role in these internal processes.

Publicly funded Higher Education Institutions are under the remit of the Office of the Ombudsman and as such the Ombudsman may examine complaints from members of the public who believe that they have been unfairly treated by these institutions. If a student feels that they have been unfairly treated by or are not satisfied with a higher education institution’s decision, it is open to them to contact the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about administrative actions or procedures as well as undue delays or inaction. The Ombudsman provides an impartial, independent and free dispute resolution service.

Any potential complainant should ensure they have availed of any internal complaints procedures first before having recourse to the Ombudsman.

Question No. 66 answered with Question No. 62.