In what circumstances is mediation useful?
There are plenty of situations in which a student at UCL may find mediation useful. Various life and academic experiences can cause conflicts between students, staff and the University. Many issues and misunderstandings can often be quickly and confidentially resolved via mediation, without a need for the process to become ‘formal’. Although not for everybody or suitable and for all types of complaints, mediation can help to resolve many types of disputes.
The following are examples of the kinds of situations in which you may wish to contact the Student Mediator:
• You feel that UCL processes or systems have failed in your case or been unfairly applied,
• There is a personality clash between you and a tutor or academic supervisor,
• You have fallen into a dispute with friends or classmates,
• You have fallen into a dispute with a UCL employee,
• You find yourself in a difficult working environment,
• You feel that you are unable to communicate your problems to anyone,
• You believe yourself to be the victim of bullying and/or harassment.
You may also approach the Student Mediator for general advice in terms of how to pursue a complaint, or to discuss whether or not mediation is right for you.
If you feel mediation is not appropriate for you and your situation, the Mediator can still give impartial advice on how to proceed with a formal complaint.
Formal processes for students include the Centralised Complaints Procedure http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-8/ccp), the Grievance Procedure (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-5/student-grievance-procedure), and the Harassment and Bullying Procedure (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/part-5/harassment-bullying).
The UCL Students Union (UCLU) is an autonomous organisation and has its own procedures for dealing with disputes.
Please note that the Student Mediator is not able to intervene in matters of academic judgment, as opposed to errors or failures of process, or unfair application of them.
The Student Mediator is independent from any management or other institutional influence and will seek to resolve disputes fairly and impartially. The Student Mediator reports direct to the President and Provost.
As well as seeking to resolve individual issues, the Student Mediator will identify any common themes arising from matters on which they have been invited to act, and draw these to the attention of the appropriate bodies in UCL for resolution.