Raising concerns

Occasionally, things don’t go as planned, but we are dedicated to resolving issues as quickly as possible and ensuring they don’t happen again.

Resolving issues and working through concerns is a normal part of student life. Before making a complaint, in most circumstances it is expected that students will try and resolve the issue through raising the concern and trying to resolve the issue at a lower level, if they feel comfortable doing so. We generally find this is the fastest way to resolve concerns, and even though it can feel a little scary sometimes there is a lot of support available. There are a number of ways to raise concerns which are outlined below.

Communicate with the person (or people) directly

You can directly raise the concern with the person to talk through the issue, outline the impact, and reach agreement on how to move forward. You can bring a support person along with you through this process.

Check out our restorative conversation guide with more useful tips on how to raise a concern.

Access expert support to raise the concern

We understand that there could be situations where you might need extra support and specialist guidance to raise the concern. Connect with the Complaints and Conflict Resolution Advisor at studentinterest@vuw.ac.nz or the VUWSA Advocacy Services at advocate@vuwsa.co.nz for specialist support to work through your concern.

Throughout any process you will be informed on how the concern could be handled, how it is progressing, the range of possible outcomes and an expected timeframe based on the complexity and sensitivity of the concern.

There are several ways students can be supported to address concerns, including options where you do not need to directly meet the person (or people) the concern is about. These include:

  • a facilitated restorative meeting
  • community wellbeing plans
  • agreements of mutual understanding
  • a tikanga process.

The specific needs of anyone involved in a concerning situation are considered, and culturally appropriate approaches that consider traditional processes for raising and resolving issues are available. The University is committed to acknowledging Te Tiriti o Waitangi by working in partnership with Māori. The spirit of tikanga is to seek resolutions to disputes and concerns in a manner that encourages a facilitated open exchange of views, with a view to seeking consensus and acceptance from all parties.

Use this secure online form to make a complaint. You can make a complaint in person, by phone, or in an online meeting by contacting complaints@vuw.ac.nz