CASE SUMMARIES

Disciplinary issues (non-academic): Engagement with university procedures - PI051501

University of Essex

A student at the University of Essex was reported for alleged participation in an incident in which drugs were found on the University campus. He failed to attend two meetings with the University Proctor and was fined for non-attendance. Following the second meeting the Proctor decided to consider the case in the student’s absence, and imposed a fine, suspended pending the student attending a drugs awareness course. The student was also fined for other offences, and refused future access to University accommodation. His appeal against these penalties was rejected. He complained to us.

Disciplinary issues (non-academic): Use of evidence - PI051502

University of East London

A student at the University of East London appealed the decision of a disciplinary panel to exclude her from the University for gross misconduct, following a break-in on the campus during which examination papers were stolen.

Disciplinary issues (non-academic): Balance of probability - PI051503

Buckinghamshire New University

A student at Buckinghamshire New University complained to us about the outcome of disciplinary procedures instigated by the University. The University concluded that he had committed major misconduct in relation to damage at his student accommodation. He appealed against that outcome, and the penalty applied, but his appeal was rejected on the grounds that he had not provided material evidence to support his appeal.

Disciplinary issues (non-academic): Case involving criminal proceedings - PI051504

University of Sheffield

Student A complained to us about the University of Sheffield’s handling of an incident involving himself and another student, student B. The incident took place on University premises, and student A suffered a significant injury. Student B was subjected to criminal proceedings but was discharged by the court. The University did not suspend him, or instigate disciplinary proceedings against him. Student A subsequently withdrew from the University. He complained that no action had been taken against student B and that the University had failed to communicate with him.

Disciplinary issues (non-academic): Academic appeals and disciplinary proceedings - PI051506

University of Westminster

A student at the University of Westminster was found to have forged evidence to an academic appeal against withdrawal for lack of academic progress. The University rejected the appeal on the basis of fraudulent evidence and because it had been submitted out of time. It informed the student that the appeal would be referred to a disciplinary panel as it broke the Student Code of Conduct.

Consumer protection issues: Communication of withdrawal of modules - PI051507

Open University

A student at the Open University complained that he had not been given adequate notice of changes to the postgraduate Social Sciences programme. The withdrawal of an MSc qualification entailed the cancellation of several modules, which meant that beyond a certain date the student would be unable to gain the credits he needed to complete the original qualification he hoped to achieve. Other MSc options remained available to him.

Consumer protection issues: Acting on findings - PI051508

Glyndwr University

A student at Glyndwr University complained about a number of aspects of her experience at the University. The University upheld two aspects of her complaint, relating to accommodation and to pastoral care. It offered financial compensation for accommodation difficulties as a gesture of good will.

Consumer protection issues: Expectations on students - PI051509

Birmingham City University

A student at Birmingham City University complained about the quality, content and delivery of his course. The course materials and core communications were delivered through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The University considered each of the issues he raised. The student’s difficulties appeared to arise from his misunderstanding of the extent to which the course relied on the VLE. He missed the induction programme and several sessions of the course before finally withdrawing.

Consumer protection issues: Liability for fees - PI051510

Aston University

A student at Aston University was withdrawn from his course after failing all but one of the modules. The University gave him the opportunity to submit late extenuating circumstances. His appeal against withdrawal was upheld on the basis that he re-started the course and paid the full fees. The student complained to us, stating that he wished to be held liable for only half the fees.