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Complaints, objections and appeals

There are various regulations, rules and laws that apply to students. Do you feel you have been prejudiced by a decision stemming from any of these rules? Or do you feel you have not been treated properly by a member of staff? You can do something about this.

A first step is to talk to the person concerned; this often leads to a solution. One of the study advisers or student counsellors may be able to help you with this. You can also discuss with them whether it is worthwhile starting a formal procedure.

Please note:
To be sure you do not exceed the deadline, it may be sensible in the case of decisions to submit a pro forma objection or appeal, even if you are still in discussion with the person(s) concerned. The term for submitting your objection or appeal is six weeks. You can indicate in the objection or appeal that further substantiation is to follow. If your discussions are successful, you can withdraw the objection or appeal.

Complaints

All students at the UvA may lodge a complaint about the manner in which they have been treated by a UvA staff member or body. You may also lodge a complaint about your degree programme or about a unit of the UvA. From experience we know that talking to the person concerned or responsible from the UvA or from your faculty often leads to a solution and to mutual understanding. So we recommend that you try to arrive at a solution among yourselves first. If this does not succeed and you still wish to lodge a complaint, you can read more about the different types of complaints below.

The confidential adviser, study adviser or student counsellor can advise you about this.

  • Complaints about your degree programme or a unit of the UvA

    Every faculty and unit at the UvA has a complaints coordinator who deals with incoming complaints about faculty-related or practical matters.

    If you have a complaint about your degree programme or about a unit of the UvA, you can lodge a complaint with the faculty or unit in question via the Digital Service Desk (you will find links to this at the bottom of this page, under How do I lodge a complaint, objection or appeal?). The Complaints Coordinator will contact you about the handling of the complaint.

    If you wish to appeal against a decision of the Examinations Board, for example against a mark, or object to a decision of the Executive Board, you can do this via one of the Digital Service Desks.

  • Complaints about treatment and/or behaviour

    The UvA considers any form of improper and/or undesirable behaviour and unjust treatment to be unacceptable. It can happen, though, that you are confronted with this during your studies. If you encounter undesirable behaviour or unjust treatment, you can lodge a formal complaint about this. You can also turn to a confidential adviser. The confidential adviser may be able to help you lodge the complaint.

    The UvA has established a Complaints Committee to handle complaints from UvA students and staff members relating to behaviour of and treatment from UvA staff members and/or bodies. This must pertain to behaviour of a staff member of the UvA that took place in the exercise of their position. With a view to the investigations of the Complaints Committee, complaints may not be anonymous. You cannot lodge complaints against fellow students. Should a conflict or problem arise between you and a fellow student, you can turn to the confidential adviser for advice.

    Lodge your complaint via the email address klachtencommissie-uva@uva.nl. The procedure is set out in the Regulations for Employee and Student Complaints Procedures at the University of Amsterdam and the relevant explanatory notes:

    The members of the Complaints Committee are the following:

    • Ms M.B. de Witte-van den Haak LLM (Chair)
    • Dr R. Wilders (deputy member on behalf of the Executive Board)
    • Ms V. Arnaiz Rivas LLM (deputy member on behalf of the Central Works Council)
    • Ms I. Ince (member on behalf of the Central Student Council)
    • Mr O.D. Stringer (deputy member on behalf of the Central Student Council)

Objection

An objection relates to a decision made by the Executive Board regarding you. This might concern your enrolment, tuition fees or a financial provision. The period for submitting an objection is six weeks. The Arbitration Committee for Student Objections (Geschillenadviescommissie studentenbezwaren) will examine the case and advise the Executive Board as to whether the decision should stand or should be reconsidered.

Read more about submitting an objection

Appeal

Should you disagree with a written decision by an examiner or the Examinations Board for the degree programme (for instance regarding the sequence, approval, marking or resits of courses, practical training, examinations or assignments) you can appeal against this to the Examinations Appeals Board (College van Beroep voor de Examens, COBEX). The period for submitting an appeal is six weeks. If you are considering lodging an appeal with COBEX, you should make contact with the competent Examinations Board as soon as possible.

How do I submit a complaint, objection or appeal? 

You should submit your complaint, objection or appeal via the Digital Service Desk. Follow the steps below:

  1. If you have a UvAnetID, use the form for students at the UvA and log in using your student number and password. If you do not yet have a UvAnetID, use the form for people who are not yet or no longer students at the UvA. The language the form is in depends on your browser settings.
  2. Select the form you wish to fill in: the complaints form or the form for objections/appeals.
  3. The form must be completed in one go and cannot be saved in the interim. However, you may extra information at a later stage.
  4. As soon as you have submitted your complaint, objection or appeal, you will automatically receive an acknowledgement of receipt by email. This email will also contain information about the subsequent course of the procedure.