The Student Ombudsman/woman contributes to maintaining the highest standards of academic life and effective support for students by independently and impartially reviewing student grievances which have not been resolved by the department or faculty. This also includes the work and conduct of Uni.com for services to students and the Student Parliament and Association.
The Ombudsman/woman is independent, impartial, confidential and fair. S/hedoes not represent the students, the university or any internal or external organization or group and may not be selected as a representative on any university body. S/he does not advocate for any individual. S/he works for fair and equitably administered processes as well as expected standards of professional conduct and service. A student’s use of the Ombudsman/woman is voluntary and is not a required step in any other procedure or process.
The Ombudsman/woman may not investigate any issue in which they have a conflict of interest or which compromises the neutrality of the position. In this case, s/he requests support from the Secretary General and/or President of the Student Parliament and Association.
The Ombudsman/woman may consult with staff and other students, inspect documents and obtain independent legal advice as required.
Following a formal investigation, s/he may make recommendations for resolution of the grievance to the Provost (academic issues), Secretary General (administrative or general issues) or President of the Student Parliament and Association. In very serious breaches, they may choose to report directly to the Rector and/or President of the Board.
The Ombudsman/woman may also make recommendations for changes in university practices to prevent recurrences of similar complaints and grievances.
However, the Ombudsman/woman cannot force the university or any faculty, department or unit of the university to change a decision or adopt a recommendation.
S/he reports annually to the University Board and Student Parliament and Association on types of student complaints and grievances and on the overall operation of the Complaints procedures or other relevant procedures and processes and may be asked to attend in person to present the findings.
The Ombudsman/woman will:
· provide regular information about the role of the Ombudsman/woman to ensure that students and staff are aware of this position, its role and value, in liaison with relevant departments;
· have current information about University policies and procedures in order to advise students on their rights and responsibilities with regard to these processes;
· receive and record grievances, complaints or issues put forward by a student or group of students objectively and confidentially;
· confirm and note that the student or group of students has already taken all reasonable steps to resolve the issue within the faculty or section;
· make informal enquiries in order to decide whether an investigation is needed;
· actively facilitate informal discussion to identify best options to resolve the problem and note when issues are concluded and how;
· support the operation of the Student Complaints Procedure, in liaison with the Quality Office;
· independently investigate the grievance if further action is needed and make recommendations for resolution of the grievance to the Provost (academic issues), Secretary General (administrative or general issues) or President of the Student Parliament and Association;
· keep a student or group of students informed regularly about the progress of any issue;
· provide a general report on the work of the Ombudsman/woman and on related issues annually
· take part in training which is relevant to the position and to contribute general advice and ideas concerning related policies and processes as requested
· carry out the role in line with all legal requirements, University statutes, policies, procedures and guidelines and to follow the University’s mission of excellence and equity
· Ability to communicate in the two local university languages (Albanian and Macedonian); English also desired
· Computer skills relevant for communication and archiving
· Ability to negotiate positively with both students and staff
· Problem solving and initiative
· Ability to work independently
· Report writing and basic data analysis
The Ombudsman/woman may receive support and advice from the Legal Services and Procurement Office, Quality Office, Human Resources Office, Dean’s Office, Student Services or other departments as needed.
· Student Enquiry Form - Ombudsman/woman
· Ombudsman/woman Factsheet/FAQs
· Complaints Procedure
· Academic Rules as published
· Administrative Rules as published
· Rule on Student Parliament and Association
· Uni.com procedures such as dormitory rules