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2015 News and Updates

30 December 2015

Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive recognised in New Year's Honours

Rob Behrens, the student ombudsman for higher education in England and Wales, has been appointed a CBE in the New Year’s Honours announced today, 30 December. The honour is for services to higher education.

Rob Behrens has been the student ombudsman for higher education in England and Wales since 2008. He has led the development of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) in reviewing more than 15,000 student complaints and in working with higher education providers and students’ unions to promote early resolution and good practice in complaints handling.

Rob Behrens said: ‘The development of the OIA as the independent student ombudsman service for higher education has been an important feature of higher education in the last decade. I am delighted that my contribution to this collective endeavour has been recognised, and see it as a positive reflection on the work of the organisation.’

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05 November 2015

OIA announce next Independent Adjudicator and Chief ExecutiveJudy Clements OBE

The OIA Board has announced the successor to Rob Behrens, who will leave the OIA in April, when his term of office expires. His replacement will be Judy Clements OBE. Judy is currently the Adjudicator for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the Valuation Office Agency and the Insolvency Service.

You can read more on the appointment by reading the press release on the OIA website.

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20 October 2015

Scandinavian ombuds conference in Lund, Swedenscandinavian ombuds

On 24 and 25 September this year, the third assembly of ombudspersons in higher education in Scandinavia was arranged. This year’s host was ombud for students Petra Holst of the Lund University Student Association. For the first time, the assembly was arranged as a conference. We were 19 participants in total, which was more than twice as many as last year: two from Denmark, four from Norway and thirteen from Sweden.

Lund University was founded in 1666 and has approximately 46 000 students and 7500 staff, spread around Lund, Malmö and Helsingborg. The conference was held in the beautiful city of Lund, to which the large body of students lends a unique character.

Ombud for students Petra Holst gave a welcoming address, and the head and deputy head of the Lund University Student Association provided us with an introduction to the organization of the local system for student co-determination. This was followed by parallel workshops addressing a range of different topics: ombuds’ offices that encounter opposition, how the ombud for students can maintain their impartiality, where should the line be drawn to separate the student ombudsperson’s activities from student politics and how the ombud scheme can be promoted, as well as discussions of specific cases. All participants were provided with information on the European Network of Ombudsmen in Higher Education (ENOHE).

Since its inception, we have referred to the network as ‘Nordic’. At the conference in Lund, we agreed that ‘Scandinavian’ would be a more suitable name, since the network includes no ombuds from Finland and Iceland. The conference languages are Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. It was also decided to establish a separate website.

The ombud for students at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science, Anita Tøien Johansen, will host next year’s conference, which will be held in Oslo on 13 and 14 October 2016.

In conclusion, host Petra Holst wishes to thank all participants for an extremely rewarding conference: ‘It was incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to join my Scandinavian colleagues for this event, and I look forward to continuing our discussions through our social networks.’

Petra Holst
Studentombud
Lunds Universitets Studentkårer (LUS)

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22 September 2015

Dear Colleague,

You should l have received an email and a questionnaire asking you to help ENOHE and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education in England and Wales (OIA) in a key piece of research about the diversity of practice among campus ombudsmen.

First responses have been excellent. We are very grateful for these. However, our research will be even more valuable if more colleagues are able to return the questionnaire.

As a result, if you have not already done so, please complete the questionnaire attached in the link below by Friday 2 October 2015. This will assist us enormously in our efforts to understand and map the strength and diversity of ombudsmen in higher education.

If you are aware of ombudsman colleagues who may not be part of the ENOHE network, we would be most grateful if you could please forward the questionnaire to them.

Please contact me if you have any further questions.    

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1hMUQJ9b9nC-mQC1bfrIUQRX-rekOSqueeL-kPRcVXF4/viewform

With best wishes for the new academic year, and many thanks,

Rob Behrens
Independent Adjudicator and Chief Executive
Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education

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01 September 2015

The OIA have today welcomed around 500 new members to the scheme following the legislation from the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You can read more about it in the Press Release on the OIA website.

There has been coverage from the press as well which you can find below.

BBC - 'Student complaints scheme extended'
National Union of Students - 'Interview with Rob Behrens'

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29 June 2015

Here is an overview of the ENOHE 2015 Conference held in Innsbruck in May.  A full report will follow next year.

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23 June 2015

A motion was passed on 30 May at the final plenary of the ENOHE Conference in Innsbruck - to read please click here

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22 June 2015

Ombudsperson for students - University of Stavanger (UiS)

Ombudsman StavangerSince the 1st of January 2015, the University of Stavanger (UiS) has had its own Ombudsperson for students. To learn more, please click here.

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14 May 2015

ENOHE 14 report 1

ENOHE publishes the report of the ENOHE 2014 conference.

To read the report, please click here

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12 March 2015

public-trust-and-the-ombudsman-10th-anniversary-series 1Independent Adjudicator publishes his paper "Public Trust and the Ombudsman"

To read the paper, please click here

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5 January 2015

Cover Titelblatt TB 2013 2014 (4)Austrian Student Ombudsman submits his Annual Report 2013/14 to the Minister of Science, Research and Economy and to the Austrian Parliament

To read the press release, please click here

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