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Higher education student complaints

If you are not satisfied with your university or higher education provider you can submit a complaint.

Always keep written records about your complaint in case you need them as proof later. The first step is to talk to the student administration area of your provider to resolve the complaint.

After this, if you wish to make a formal complaint, it must be submitted to your provider using their official form. Contact your provider and ask them about their process.

A formal complaint requires a response or decision in writing from your provider.

If you disagree with your provider’s decision, you can submit an internal appeal to your provider. Your provider must provide their response or decision in writing.

If you disagree with your provider’s internal appeal decision, you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by an external body chosen by your provider.

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome after the external review, you can contact the Ombudsman or the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

They will not assess your complaint unless you have had both an internal review and an external review.


Appealing your complaint decision

If you are studying with a public provider (i.e. a TAFE or most universities) you can lodge an external appeal with the Ombudsman in the state or territory where your provider is located.

The contact details for these Ombudsman offices are:

If you are studying at a private provider, you can lodge your complaint with the ACCC. The ACCC will only investigate complaints that are in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.


I have a complaint about the quality of teaching

If your complaint is about your higher education course or tutor, you can contact the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) to submit a complaint.

TEQSA does not respond directly to complaints. It will record your complaint as part of its quality assurance and compliance.


I am a VET student

You can make a complaint about your VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans provider.


I am an international student

Overseas students studying at a public university or TAFE can submit their complaint to their State Ombudsman.

Overseas students studying at a private training provider can submit an external complaint with the Commonwealth Overseas Students Ombudsman.