Where can I go with my complaint or objection?
The AHK is committed to ensuring that study and work within the AHK run as smoothly as possible. Nevertheless, it may happen that mistakes are made or situations arise in which you feel disadvantaged as a student or staff member. It may also happen that you disagree with a decision made. What can you do?
You can always turn to the AHK Complaints Desk
If you are not sure where to go, you can send your question to the AHK Complaints Desk via the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question will always be handled confidentially. The AHK complaints desk can tell you which regulation your question falls under, whether it is a notification, complaint, objection or appeal and what you can do. In general: a complaint is about behaviour, and an objection or appeal is about a decision you disagree with.
On what subject do you have a complaint or what would you like to object?
- Want to talk, report or complain about transgressive behaviour and social safety? See complaint about social safety and transgressive behaviour.
- Do you disagree with an assessment, exam result or examination? See examination board.
- Do you disagree with a decision of the examination board? See Cobex.
- Do you disagree with another decision, for example about your enrolment or tuition fees? See Disputes Advisory Committee.
Complaint on social safety and cross-border behaviour
To begin with, students who are experiencing or have experienced undesirable behaviour can report this to their teacher, supervisor, director or to the Executive Board. It is also possible to submit a complaint to the AHK Complaints Committee.
A confidant can help you prepare and submit a complaint to the complaints committee. The complaint must be made in writing, accompanied by a description of what steps have already been taken. All complaints are treated with absolute confidentiality. The name of both the complainant and the accused must be mentioned in the complaint. More information on filing a complaint with the Complaints Committee, including contact details, can be found via this link. The contact details of the confidential advisers can be found on MyAHK (only accessible to employees and students).
Appeals against decisions on examinations, tests and assessments
Are you not allowed to take an exam and you think this is unfair? Do you disagree with an assessment? Is the result of an exam taking too long? Do you disagree with a decision of the examination committee? Initially, you can discuss this with your lecturer, examiner or the head of the programme. If that does not resolve the issue, you can formally lodge an objection with the examination board. Every academy has its own examination committee that monitors the quality of tests and exams. You can find the contact details of the examination committee on your academy's intranet.
Lodge an objection with the examination committee
If you lodge an objection with the examination committee, it will examine whether the procedure and rules of the education and examination regulations (OER) have been applied correctly. Based on your objection, the examination committee may conclude that the OER have not been sufficiently followed. Sometimes a test or examination assessment then has to be retaken. In that case, the examination committee finds in your favour. But you may also not be vindicated. If you disagree with the decision of the examination committee, you can appeal against it at the Examination Appeals Board (Cobex).
On appeal to the Cobex
Do you disagree with the examination board's decision on your objection? Then you can appeal the decision to the Examination Appeals Board (Cobex) within six weeks. The Cobex is an independent body within the AHK, with an external chairman. The chairman is a lawyer in daily life. You can contact the complaints desk for information about the Cobex at email@example.com or see here.
The Cobex not only handles appeal cases about decisions of the examination committee, but you can also go to the Cobex for some decisions of an academy director or the AHK Board of Governors. These include a negative binding study advice or a rejection of exemption from study units. The Cobex assesses the diligence and legitimacy of a decision (the Cobex's assessment never concerns the level of student performance).
The advice is to first discuss your appeal with your study leader or other involved party. You can also seek assistance from a confidential advisor or dean. Please note that an appeal to the Cobex must be submitted within six weeks of the relevant decision, otherwise it will not be considered. Submission can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requesting a court ruling
Students can request a court ruling after going through an internal AHK procedure of the examination board, the Cobex or the dispute advisory committee. The judge will then pronounce on the decision of the AHK board, taken after the Cobex or the Disputes Advisory Committee's advice on your objection or appeal. Through the Student Affairs Department of the Council of State (page in Dutch) you can request a ruling in an accessible way.
Disputes advisory committee for objections on other matters
For objections relating to other matters - other than exams, examinations or transgressive behaviour - as a student you can go to the AHK's Disputes Advisory Committee. For example, do you disagree with decisions relating to admission to a programme, enrolment, tuition fees, the Profileringsfonds, organisational matters, or order measures that are open to objection and appeal? If so, you can lodge an objection to the decision with the Disputes Advisory Committee within six weeks. The Disputes Advisory Committee is an independent body within the AHK, with an external chairman. In daily life, the chairman is a lawyer. Would you like to know more about the Disputes Advisory Committee? You can ask your question to email@example.com or read the Disputes Advisory Committee regulations here.
Please note: your objection must be submitted to the Disputes Advisory Committee within six weeks of the relevant decision, otherwise it will not be considered. Submission can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are advised to first discuss your objection with the relevant coordinator, study leader, lecturer or other person(s) involved. You can also seek assistance from a confidential advisor or dean.