Select Committee on Education and Employment Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum from Dr Tony Higgins

CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS AND LETTERS OF THANKS FOR YEAR OF ENTRY 2000

COMPLAINTS RECEIVED

  The total number of complaints received during the year 1 October 1999 to 30 September 2000 was 134. These can be split over the various functions as follows:


Undergraduate Applications
=
98
UCAS Enterprises
=
13
Website
=
10
Electronic Application System
=
10
Distribution
=
2
Computing
=
1


  Ten complaints referred to the manner and attitude of staff. When compared to the large number of enquiries dealt with (555,787), this number represents a very small percentage. However, in order to ensure that we are meeting the highest levels of customer service, UCAS has initiated a company wide review of all its customer service functions and is working with external consultants to ensure that best practice is adopted throughout.

  A number of complaints referred to delays in the receipt of postal correspondence. A subsequent investigation revealed that our contractors were not providing the level of service agreed and action was taken to rectify this.

  Many complaints referred to the admissions process in individual universities or colleges. Although these are outside our control, UCAS ensures that, where possible, the institutions are made aware of any problems. We also ensure that system-wide issues are raised at the annual Admissions Officers Conference. UCAS is concerned that some universities and colleges do not have their own complaints procedure for applicants and we have recommended to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) that it should make this a requirement of it's Code of Practice for Admissions.

ENTERPRISES

  Enterprises received a number of complaints about unsolicited mail. The application form for 2001 entry has a tick box which will allow customers to opt-out of unsolicited mailings.

LETTERS OF THANKS

  We received 104 letters of thanks during the year, not only from applicants and parents, but also from institutions. The overall impression is of an excellent and caring service.

March 2001


 
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