Learn lessons

Are lessons being learned?

  • Do you regularly review the conduct and outcome of disputes and the lessons to be learned?
  • Is your ‘learning’ aimed at improvement or just the appearance of improvement (‘reputation management’)?
  • Do you revisit the ‘lessons to be learned’ to see if they have in fact been learned so that the same thing cannot happen again?

The university at the centre of a global climate science controversy is to alter its management structures to strengthen its approach to reputation management.
The University of East Anglia plans to give its director of marketing and communications greater responsibility in the area in a role which also includes some of the duties of an academic registrar. The new role is detailed in plans for a shake-up of the UEA administration that will abolish the academic division for support services.
… The restructuring will see support services previously delivered separately across the university provided by three new “integrated” units: recruitment and admissions; research enterprise and engagement; and learning and teaching.

(‘Climategate’ report, Times Higher Education, 15 July 2010)


OIA decisions often include recommendations or observations about systemic lessons to be learned in student cases. Do you check these regularly and ensure that your institution is not making similar mistakes?


Recommendation to the University that the University should review the administrative procedures for the year abroad and for the complaints system.

(OIA Case study 3).

Recommendation to the University to review its disciplinary appeal procedures to clarify the options available to the Appeal Panel and to set out the timescales for the appeals process.

(OIA Case study 29)