Resolving conflicts – Ombudsperson service at the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer

A solid academic education, research at a high level – but also openness, good cooperation and respectful interaction: this is what we stand for at the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer. We care deeply about the personal contact between all university members and continuous improvement in all areas.

Nevertheless, misunderstandings or mistakes can sometimes occur, for example, between teachers and students, or also between university staff members. In the spirit of the idea of an open campus university, it’s always sensible and important for those concerned to seek out a dialogue among themselves. If this works, that’s great!

However, if this is not possible, or not desired, all university members and staff have the option of making a complaint. The senate has drawn up special Principles for handling complaints for this purpose.

If this is not an option, complaints can be made to the ombudsperson.  This applies in particular when and insofar as conflicts arise within the university that cannot be resolved amicably between the parties involved, as well as for students if they have a complaint relating to study and teaching.

 

What is an ombudsperson?

The ombudsperson is neutral, independent and not subject to instructions. They treat all information with confidentiality and in consultation with the complainants. They are not obliged to disclose details, such as the content of complaints or names of parties involved, to any agency within the university.

 

What is the ombudsperson responsible for? And what are they not responsible for?

The ombudsperson is responsible for student complaints relating to study and teaching, as well as for conflicts within the university which cannot be resolved between the parties themselves. The ombudsperson is not responsible for examination matters, complaints about the university infrastructure (e.g. structural conditions) or matters outside the university.

 

How does the ombudsperson become active?

The ombudsperson will review the appropriate nature and severity of a complaint submitted in writing. If necessary, they will listen to the persons concerned, and determine the further steps in agreement with the complainants and try to settle the conflict amicably. Further details can be found in the Guideline for the establishment of an ombudsperson system at the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer.

 

What happens with my data?

The data collected is documented and archived only at the ombudsperson's office. At the end of each semester, the ombudsperson prepares a report for the committee and senate, which will show, in an anonymised form, the number, duration and success rate of these complaint procedures.

How and where do I submit a complaint?

Complaints can only be submitted to the ombudsperson in writing. To do so, please download this complaint form, fill it out completely and
• send it via email to ombudswesen(at)hs-emden-leer.de or
• send it by post to the ombudsperson (see below for contact details) or
• hand it in to the committee office (room V 209, Ms Reuter) in a sealed envelope.

Address:
Hochschule Emden/Leer
Ombudswesen
Constantiaplatz 4
26723 Emden

Who is the ombudsperson?

The senate elected Prof. Dr.-Ing Werner Kiehl as the ombudsperson in May 2019. After employment in the industry, Prof. Kiehl has been teaching in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Faculty of Technology for more than 25 years. During this time, he has also been a member of many university committees, including the faculty council, examination committee, central study committee and the senate. Prof. Kiehl was also involved in the further development of the university as Dean of Studies, as a member of the university council delegated by the senate, and as Vice President for Studies and Teaching.