If you feel you have not been treated properly by someone employed by Utrecht University, or if you disagree with a decision that affects you personally, you can respond in a number of ways. Please see the section ‘Utrecht University’s Code of Conduct & Complaints Procedure’ below for further details.
As part of the university, UCU is bound to the same procedures. Being also a residential college within the University, UCU has devised a supplementary code of behaviour – the Social Honour Code - to guide life on campus. Originally formed by students, this code does not replace the university’s own code of conduct, but simply gives further expression of the same principles in light of the campus also being a shared residence. Please see the ‘UCU’s Social Honour Code & Complaints Procedure’ below for further details.
If you feel you have not been treated properly by someone employed by Utrecht University, or if you disagree with a decision that affects you personally, you can respond in a number of ways.
A complaint relates to conduct towards you. You cannot submit a complaint about a general rule or scheme.
In the first place communication can be aimed at the person it concerns. Together you can try to come to an acceptable solution of the problem at hand. You can also discuss your complaint with the Study Advisor (in UCU’s case – Personal Tutor) of your faculty or department. The Complaints Coordinator for your faculty can advise you on what action you can take.
If you feel your complaint is severe, or if it is difficult to discuss or if the problem was not solved informally, you can file a complaint:
- You can file a complaint about your faculty or department with the Complaints Coordinator of your faculty.
- You can file a complaint about central university services with the University Complaints Coordinator.
It is not possible to submit a complaint about general rules or regulations. This means that comments or complaints about matters such as teaching do not fall under the university's official complaints procedure. But if you have such complaints you do of course want to share them with someone. In such cases you should go to the Study Desk, your Study Advisor or the complaints coordinator of your faculty or department. They can advise you on what action you can take.
Complaints about inappropriate behaviour and misconduct
Utrecht University has the ambition to realize a safe social climate for all students and employees. Respectful attitudes and behaviors are part of this ambition. However, it may still happen that students or employees encounter undesirable or indecent behavior, for example when they are sexually intimidated or encounter aggression, violence, threats or bullying. When someone is bothered by these behaviors and experiences limitations with regard to studying, working, socialising or living, procedures are in place to address this. The University’s code of conduct is designed to prevent misconduct. See here for the code of conduct, and the process for making formal complaints.
Notably, complaints may be made to the UU’s designated confidential counsellor, Mrs Jeanette van Rees (also Head of UU’s Counseling Service). She is reachable by email J.vanRees@uu.nl or by phone on +31 30 253 2791. One of the key roles of the confidential counsellor is support and supervision. The confidential counsellor can also mediate between the parties involved in the complaint. If this fails to reach a solution, a decision can be made jointly to submit a complaint to the complaints committee. See the UU code of conduct for further details.
Further information about the University complaints procedure, including objections and appeals, can be found here.
It is important to note that there is also a set of protocols in place to protect those who feel they have been falsely accused of misconduct, unreasonably suspected of misdemeanor, or wrongly charged with violating codes of conduct.
As part of the university, UCU is bound to the same procedures described above.
Being also a residential college within the University, UCU has devised a supplementary code of behaviour – the Social Honour Code - to guide life on campus. Originally formed by students, this code does not replace the university’s own code of conduct, but simply gives further expression of the same principles in light of the campus also being a shared residence.
The Social Honour Code, including guidelines on how to report violations, has been incorporated into UCU’s broader rules and regulations and can be found in the Academic Rules and Regulations and in the Campus Life Rules and Guidelines (you can find them here).
Its small scale means UCU can offer short lines of communication to students and employees. This also means there are several opportunities for all of us to express dissatisfaction, suggest improvements or make complaints, in a safe and respectful way.
Do you wish to make a complaint, or suggest improved ways of working?
For students, their personal tutor can be a good starting point to discuss any issues arising, particularly regarding the academic, learning and teaching sides of UCU life. If it seems that improvements can be made in these areas, or a formal complaint is warranted, the tutor can steer the student as necessary.
Alternatively, students may also speak with the Student Life Officer about any aspect of their UCU experience, who can also guide them in how to introduce improvements or make complaints.
The Housemaster is also approachable for students to discuss complaints, concerns, or issues arising.
The University College Student Association and the Academic Student Council are also approachable for any students wishing to discuss student life or academic matters, and can help steer students wishing to make complaints. The UCU Independent Body is a further resource to be called upon when independent perspective is required on complaints.
Depending on the nature of the complaint, it can be swiftly and confidentially brought to the attention of relevant parties, including the UCU Management Team and the UU Executive Board where appropriate.