Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. Whilst the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Sandberg Institute make every effort to ensure affairs run smoothly within the organisations, mistakes may be made or situations may arise in which a student or employee feels they have been treated inappropriately. Should such a situation arise, it is advisable for the student or employee to discuss this with the person(s) directly involved. The dean or HR manager may be able to play an advisory or mediating role. 

If it is not possible – or, in certain situations, desirable –  to reach an informal agreement, then a more official approach may be chosen.

Committees and procedures

The academy has committees and procedures for a variety of matters. These are the following:

- Complaints procedure regarding undesirable behaviour 

- Examination Appeals Board

- Student objection procedure and dispute advisory committee regulations

- Degree programme committee

- Participation Council

Intimidation and sexual harassment

Every student has a right to study in safety. Every employee has a right to work in safety. A confidential advisor has been appointed for those situations in which this does not occur. For students this is the student counsellor, for employees this is the personnel officer. The confidential advisor can provide advice and support.

The complaints procedure is set out in the procedure on Undesirable behaviour, sexual and verbal harassment, aggression and violence. You can find this procedure here (pdf)

Complaints concerning organisational matters

Any complaints with respect to registration, finances and references should initially be submitted to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will investigate the complaint and reach a decision within six weeks. If you feel your complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily, you may appeal to the Dispute Advisory Committee. The chairman of the Dispute Advisory Committee is an independent lawyer. Should you not be satisfied with the committee's advice and the subsequent decision of the Executive Board, you can appeal to the Administrative Law Division of the Council of State (in Dutch: Afdeling bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State).

Complaints concerning assessments and examinations

It may be that you do not agree with your assessment or perhaps you are not eligible to sit an exam and you feel this is not justified. Situations sometimes occur where a student disagrees with a judgement or feels that the lecturers or coordinator have not observed the rules. If you are unable to reach an agreement and wish to state your point, you may apply to the Examination Appeals Board (CBE, former COBEX). The Board consists of two academy lecturers and an independent legal counsel.

Would you like to request an exemption from previous education requirements? Or would you like to request exemption from tests or exams? You can address your complaint to the Examination Board. You can reach them through examencommissie@rietveldacademie.nl

Degree programme committee

The Course Committee is not a complaints committee but may be addressed on any misunderstandings with regard to the education. It has the task of advising the Executive Board, upon request or otherwise, on matters relating to education. It also influences the content of the Education and Examination Regulations. The Course Committee consists of three lecturers and three students. The members of the Committee are members of or nominated by the Participation Council. The Course Committee does not handle individual complaints.

All other matters

If you disagree with the course of events at the Academy and would like certain things to change, you can contact the Participation Council. In Dutch ‘Medezeggenschapsraad’, MR. The Participation Council consists of at least seven students and seven employees. You can apply for membership yourself, but you can also approach someone who is already a member of the Participation Council. The MR deals with issues concerning the Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Instituut. It advises the board on matters such as the quality of the education, employment policy, diversity and inclusion, the yearly budget and work pressure. MR meetings are open to all members of the academic community. Students and staff can read more about the MR on the intranet. Contact: mr@rietveldacademie.nl