Annual report 2011
In 2011 law students were approximately three times more likely to bring a complaint to the OIA than the average for students studying other subjects in England and Wales. Other subjects more likely to elicit student complaints included Medicine and Dentistry, Subjects allied to medicine (Nursing, Social Work and Health Visiting), Business Studies and Physical Sciences.
Issues emerging from OIA Formal Decisions in 2011 included ambiguity around what constitutes Permissible Assistance in the writing of postgraduate theses and the related issue of the growth of Academic Misconduct including Plagiarism. Complaints to the OIA about Academic Misconduct have doubled in percentage terms since 2008.
The publication of the Government’s Higher Education White Paper (June 2011) confirmed the OIA’s continued independence and its full participation in the move towards a more risk-based sector regulatory framework. It also saw an endorsement of OIA plans to increase the transparency of reporting case decisions by naming universities in published summaries of decisions and to publish an Annual Letter to each university detailing information on its complaints record.
The OIA received six new Judicial Review claims in 2011 and had two cases heard at the Court of Appeal. There were no instances of Non-Compliance to report during 2011.