University complaints have hit a record high for the fourth year running in England and Wales.
The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) received 2,850 complaints, which is 3% more than in 2021. In total, the OIA issued more than £1m in compensation to students.
Just under a quarter of complaints related to the pandemic, which severely affected universities over the last couple of years.
Academic appeals relating to grades made up 38% of complaints, which went up from 29% in 2021.
Issues surrounding teaching of courses also made up 38% of complaints, however this has come down by 7% since 2021.
One university student, who started their degree in 2020 during the pandemic, said they were not surprised that complaints had risen.
The student, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We’ve all been made to pay full price for an education that absolutely wasn’t worth it, due to Covid.
“If I could go back in time and stop myself from coming to university at that time I absolutely would. We have all been robbed.”
However, another student said, although their experience had been affected by the pandemic, they believed that universities were operating under difficult circumstances at the time.
The student, who also started in 2020 and wished to remain anonymous, said: “I think the university itself couldn’t do much with all the Covid restrictions in place, however I do believe that the quality of education I received in first year compared to second and third year was much worse, simply because it wasn’t in person, meaning it was less engaging.
“It felt more like an online course than an actual university course.
“Being a student who lives at home, I absolutely felt as though the social aspect of my university experience was hugely affected, as while others were bonding within their student accommodation, I didn’t have the opportunity to.”
StoryHub contacted the universities the students attend but nobody was available to comment.