Student and Academic Services supports the Saudi Entertainment Academy’s (SEA) ambition of offering an outstanding and valuable experience to our students. We support our academic colleagues in achieving excellence in their learning, teaching and the student experience.
Our staff are committed to providing a high-quality student-centered service that will enhance student life, retention, success and progression, and will be recognised as exemplary.
We want all of our students to get the most out of their time at the Higher Institute for Tourism and Hospitality and if things are getting in the way of this, it is very important that you let us know. Ideally you should speak to the service involved, eg. your supervisor or college, to give them the chance to understand your concerns and offer any support they can.
Appeals relate to decisions about your academic progress, eg. failure of programme. There are rules about when you can and can’t appeal. See our Academic Honesty Policy of the SEA.
Complaints are for all service issues, academic or non-academic. Whatever the reason is for a complaint we take a similar approach to how we address them. Complaints will not normally result in a change to an academic decision.
This outlines the complaints procedure for students and applicants.
1.0 SEA is committed to offering all our students an outstanding and valuable Institute experience and to providing excellent academic and support services. However, we recognise that sometimes things go wrong and when this happens we encourage students to bring their concerns to our attention.
1.2 We are committed to investigating and resolving concerns and complaints fairly, quickly and courteously using this procedure, which is based on the Quality Assurance Committee. Where a mistake has been made, we will apologise, rectify the mistake and take reasonable steps to ensure it does not happen again.
1.3 Most issues and complaints can be resolved informally and you are encouraged to raise concerns or give feedback as early as possible to support a successful early resolution.
2. What is this procedure for?
Areas covered by this procedure
2.1 For the purposes of this procedure a complaint is defined as an expression of dissatisfaction by one or more students about a certain action or lack of action taken by the Institute or about the standard of service provided by or on behalf of the Academy.
Examples of matters that would be considered under this procedure include:
the quality and standards of a service provided by the Academy, including learning and teaching provision, advice, resources and facilities;
the applications process or its outcome;
failure to apply an administrative or academic process;
unfair treatment or inappropriate behaviour by a member of staff (where misconduct, as defined by the Employee Disciplinary Procedure, is alleged that identifies an existing Institute employee, this will be considered under the Procedure for investigating student complaints of Institute staff misconduct);
concerns about the impact of the Academy policy, even if it has been correctly applied.
Areas not covered by this procedure
2.2 The complaints procedure should not be used to request a review of an academic progress decision, such as an assessment mark, a progression decision such as failing a module or the year, or the calculation of your degree. These matters should be raised through the academic appeals procedure
2.3 Complaints of staff misconduct (which will be considered under the Procedure for investigating student complaints of the Institute staff misconduct).
2.4 YYou cannot use either the complaints procedure, or the appeals procedure, to challenge a decision relating to academic judgement. We have adopted the definition of academic judgment used by the Academic Honesty policy.
2.5 If you are a student and you want to complain about another student, you should follow SEA’s Internal Procedures and Regulations.
2.6 If you are a member of staff who wants to complain or raise a concern about a student that relates to their fitness to study or attend, you should seek advice from the Registrar.
2.7 If you are employed by the Academy and you want to submit a grievance about a matter relating to your employment, you should follow the HR procedure.
2.8 If you have concerns about an actual or potential risk, fraud or other illegal or unethical conduct, you should follow the Academic Honesty policy.
2.9 If your complaint relates to a placement, field training, you should check your manual for Internship and if in doubt, contact your academic department.
3. Who can submit a complaint
3.1 A complaint can be submitted by applicants whose complaint relates to the current recruitment cycle, current students (including those on Leave of Absence), students who have left the Institute within the last three months and students on programs offered by the Academy. On completing this procedure, applicants (as opposed to enrolled or recent students) are eligible to seek a review of their complaint by the Registration Offices.
3.2 A complaint may be submitted by a group of students acting collectively, provided that all named individuals have signed up to it, and it is clear that all signatories to the complaint are facing similar circumstances. In order to manage the process effectively, you will be asked to nominate one person to act as representative and main contact, who will be expected to liaise with the others and keep them informed.
3.3 We may refuse to look at a complaint where the party to the complaint (whether student or applicant) has not been able to demonstrate that they were directly affected.
3.4 Complaints by third parties (ie by individuals or organizations other than the actual complainant) are not normally accepted.
3.5 Anonymous complaints will not normally be considered as this can impede investigation and prevent a resolution, as well as potentially creating unfairness in relation to any allegations made in the complaint against other individuals, such as members of staff.
3.6 Frivolous, malicious and/or vexatious complaints will not be accepted. If we consider that a complaint is frivolous, malicious and/or vexatious, this may constitute a disciplinary offence and would be dealt with under the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
4. General principles for investigating complaints
4.1 This procedure has been designed with reference to the Quality Assurance Committee and Internal Procedures and Regulations. In investigating a complaint, we will adhere to the following principles:
in the first instance, complaints will be considered as close to the source and as informally as possible
complaints will be dealt with in a fair, transparent and timely manner
the investigation, and evidence required, will be proportionate to the issues raised
students will not be victimised or disadvantaged for bringing a complaint
complaints will be monitored and reported on to understand, where possible, the root causes
where an investigation identifies problems in our services, we will take steps to prevent any recurrence
throughout the process, the focus will be on resolving issues not apportioning blame.
4.2 To give us the opportunity to respond, you should bring your complaint to the attention of the Institute as soon as possible following the occurrence of the events in question. We will normally only investigate complaints that are:
made within 6 months of the event or
made within 6 months of the complainant realising they have a reason for complaint, as long as that is not more than 12 months after the event itself and you provide evidence as to why you could not raise the matter sooner. Complaints received more than 12 months after the event will not normally be considered. We may consider complaints made outside this timescale in exceptional circumstances, for example if you experience significant health issues.
4.3 Staff who investigate complaints must not have been involved in the matters leading to the complaint and must be free from actual or perceived conflicts of interest.
4.4 The standard of proof to be applied shall be that used in civil court cases ie on a balance of probabilities.
4.5 We reserve the right to refuse to investigate or to suspend any investigation underway where it becomes aware that police, legal, court or tribunal proceedings have been initiated in relation to the issues raised in the complaint. Similarly, if there are allegations of a criminal offence, we may refer the matter to the police and suspend our own proceedings until the outcome of any police investigation or criminal proceedings are known, other than where we deem it appropriate to act in the interests of the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and third parties, including visitors.
4.6 We may also suspend an investigation on health grounds. Suspending an investigation will ‘stop the clock’ on all timescales outlined in this procedure.
4.7 The investigation will deal with the substance of the core concerns identified. However, in complex cases the investigator may not be able to provide a detailed response to all the matters raised.
4.8 It is expected that all parties involved will act reasonably, fairly and courteously towards each other and respect the processes. If we consider a concern/complaint, or behavior associated with it, to be grossly unreasonable, action may be taken as set out in our communications policy. In appropriate cases, disciplinary action may be taken through the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
5. Stage 1: informal resolution
5.1 You should normally first raise any issues or concerns with a relevant member of staff in the academic department or professional service concerned. Many issues can be resolved with an immediate explanation or solution. You should give details of the complaint and any remedy sought.
5.2 As the matter is considered, it may involve discussions, meetings, giving of more information, explanations, suggested solutions and/or giving an apology where appropriate.
5.3 Consideration may be given at this stage to possible mediation or conciliation, with a view to trying to resolve the matter informally and as soon as possible.
5.4 Staff will look into the issue you raise and contact you about it normally within 10 working days. If, due to the complexities of your complaint, the timescale is likely to exceed this, they will let you know.
5.5 If staff are not able to resolve your concern, you may go on to raise the matter with the relevant Head of Department.
5.6 If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome, you may submit a formal complaint to the Office Registrar following the procedure set out in Stage 2.
6. Stage 2: formal complaints procedure
6.1 The Formal Complaints Procedure should be used only where the informal resolution stage has been exhausted, where the complaint relates to the specific actions or inactions by the Head of Department themselves, or where the nature of the complaint is too serious for informal resolution. To submit a Formal Complaint to the Registration Office via firstname.lastname@example.org
6.2 You should complete the Student Formal Complaint Form (see the Form below 8.1) in enough detail to enable the issue to be properly investigated, providing any relevant evidence for each specific complaint and indicating any remedy sought. The complaints form will be received by the Registrar, who will act as investigator in the case. Where the Registrar is unable to act on a complaint (for instance due to prolonged absence, conflict of interest or the seriousness of the complaint), the Quality Assurance Committee will assign another investigator.
6.3 The investigator will:
ensure the matter is considered as soon as reasonably practicable, with acknowledgement of the complaint normally sent within two working days of receipt
check with the relevant department that the informal stage has been exhausted; if not, the complaint may be referred back to the relevant academic department or professional service
decide whether the complaint should be investigated under the Formal Complaints procedure or whether it would be more appropriately investigated under another procedure, notifying the complainant accordingly.
6.4 You will normally be contacted by the investigator within 10 working days of submitting your complaint. The investigator will let you know the date by which they expect the investigation to be completed. This should normally be within five weeks of the complaint being received. This timescale may vary where complexities arise in the complaint or other factors. Where the timescale becomes extended, you will be kept informed as to progress.
6.5 The investigator(s) may at their discretion seek information from and/or interview you and any other parties identified through their investigation. They may consider use of a facilitated conversation where they deem it appropriate to understand and/or resolve a complaint.
6.6 If you are required to attend in person at any time as part of the investigation, you have the right to be accompanied by a registered student or employee of the Academy. However, anyone accompanying you cannot speak for you or attend in your place. Legal representation is not normally allowed.
6.7 After the investigation is completed, you will receive a letter from the Registration Office stating the outcome and giving reasons for any decision made and brief details of how it was arrived at.
6.8 If you accept a proposed remedy, it shall be in full and final settlement to resolve the complaint and will be implemented as soon as reasonably practicable.
6.9 If you remain dissatisfied following the investigation, you may request a review of the decision within 10 working days of the date of the response, providing that your request meets the stated grounds for review (see Stage 3, below).
7. Stage 3: review
7.1 You may request a review of the outcome of the formal complaint investigation by emailing the Registration Office at email@example.com within 10 working days of the date of the outcome letter from Stage 2. The Registrar will normally acknowledge receipt of the request within five working days.
7.2 You may request a review of your complaint on the following grounds:
if you have new evidence that you were unable to provide, with good reason, during the Stage 2 investigation
if you have evidence that Stage 2 of this procedure was not properly followed.
7.3 Your request must set out the grounds for the proposed review and provide the evidence to support it.
7.4 The Quality Assurance Committee may reject a request for a review if it is received outside the deadline, without good reason for the delay. The Quality Assurance Committee may also reject a request for a review if no evidence or substantive argument is provided.
7.5 Where a review is to be conducted, the Quality Assurance Committee will assign the case to an appropriate senior member of staff. This is normally a Training Manager, Head of Department, Registration supervisor or Institute Administration member. The reviewer will have had no previous involvement in the case.
7.6 The following outcomes are available to the reviewer:
to uphold the findings of the stage 2 complaint
to overturn the findings of the stage 2 complaint and substitute a new decision
to uphold the findings of the stage 2 complaint but offer a different remedy.
7.7 The review stage should normally be completed within five weeks under normal circumstances. This timescale may vary where complexities arise in the complaint or other factors. Where the timescale becomes extended, you will be kept informed as to progress. In any event, we will endeavour to complete the formal complaints procedure and review within 90 days wherever possible, subject to any forced or requested delays on your part.
7.8 On completion of the review, the Quality Assurance Committee will send you a letter. If the complaint is upheld, you may request a Completion of Procedures letter by contacting the Registration Office.
8. Help and advice
8.1 If you are considering making a complaint, help and advice about how to do it and where you should send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact to any of the following:
SEA Male Riyadh:
Campus Administrator: +966 11 450 0908
Head Office Administrator: +966 563 696 633
Land Line: +966 11 4500908 Ext: 1030
Fax: +966 11 440 0840
SEA Female Riyadh:
Tel: +966 11 440 1003 Ext.: 5020
Fax: +966 11 440 0840