Published on 18 August 2016

Following an invitation from Ireland’s Institutes of Technology Ombudsman Peter Tyndall met with them in Galway on Thursday 18 August to highlight his role in examining complaints from the public about the third-level education sector.  At the meeting the Ombudsman urged all providers of public services to use complaints as a source of learning.  He also encouraged students who are unable to resolve complaints locally to bring their complaint to his Office.

The Ombudsman’s Office is an independent office that examines complaints from the public against most providers of public services. Since 2013 the Ombudsman can examine complaints about all publically-funded third-level education bodies such as Universities and Institutes of Technology, and other education bodies such as the State Examinations Commission and Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said:

“We have worked very successfully with bodies in the third-level education sector such as Universities and Institutes of Technology, and also with SUSI and the State Examinations Commission, to resolve complaints and to improve the delivery of education services for the public.  We have highlighted the benefits of using complaints as a source of learning for providers of public services and we recently developed a Model Complaints System that we would like all service providers to use.”

The Ombudsman can examine complaints about the administrative actions of public service providers if the person is unable to resolve their complaint with the provider in the first instance.

In 2015 the Ombudsman received over 300 complaints about education services including those about:

  • Poor communication with students
  • Admission procedures
  • Unreasonable delay in providing grants or placements on courses
  • Education bodies not acting in accordance with their procedures
  • Appeals or Complaints Processes

The Ombudsman’s Model Complaints System is available here.

Students (aged 18 years of age or older) or parents can contact the Ombudsman’s Office.

For complaints from those under 18 contact the Ombudsman for Children at:


Telephone:     1800 20 20 40 or 01- 865 6800

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