With university fees having increased up to £9,000 per year for students in England, it’s important to ensure you get what you sign up for. Understandably students have become more consumer-led when it comes to the quality of the courses they attend so if you feel that you are being let down by some of the course information you are being provided with and it’s affecting your grades then you may have a right to redress depending on the specific circumstances.
With the increase in university fees, students need to be confident that they're getting value for money from their degree course. If this is being compromised in any way by the way your course is being organised, led or taught then it may be prudent to take some action.
When you attend a university course and start paying fees you are effectively entering into a contract which will have terms and conditions attached to it. If these terms and conditions are being breached by the way the course is being taught then there may be a case that the university has to answer.
Terms and Conditions
It’s not uncommon for students to experience issues about the organisation of their course, receiving conflicting information or even being faced with additional course costs. Changes in module content, changes in who teaches a particular module, changes in course location and a rise in fees can and do happen. Minor changes to a degree course are not that unusual but it’s when major changes happen such as a significant change to the modules, a change to how the course will be accredited and increases in fees, that problems can arise.
If these changes are not covered adequately within the terms and conditions of your course and your grades are suffering because of it, then you may have a good case to make a complaint.
Terms and Conditions breaches
When you join a University course or degree course provider you should be given the following information before you start the course:
- Course content, structure and length
- The location of where you will study
- The accreditation you will receive on successfully completing the course
- The cost of the course and any additional costs that may be needed for field trips, equipment etc
- Clear terms and conditions about the course
- Any rights you have to cancel should you change your mind
- Information about the complaints handling process.
Making a formal complaint
If you believe that you are being unfairly treated by your course provider and they are in breach of their terms and conditions then you should read the information about the complaints handling process carefully and follow it diligently. You should detail clearly about how you are being affected by the situation and identify where the terms and conditions you have been provided with are being breached. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from your course provider then you can make a formal complaint about them to the OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education) to take the matter further.
At Match Solicitors we have advised hundreds of clients about breaches of contract and how to escalate complaints through the OIA. If you need any advice about an issue you may be facing then please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss your case in more detail.