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Coronavirus - CS032109

An international student was on a one-year Masters course with a significant practical element. In March 2020 the provider moved to online learning because of the nationwide lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

The theory components of the course were delivered online but some of the practical components could not be delivered. Replacement content was delivered online instead, and students were able to meet most of the course’s learning outcomes.

The student complained to the provider asking for a reduction in the tuition fees they were paying. The provider partly upheld the complaint and offered students on the course the opportunity to study some of the practical components later (after completing the course) when face to face teaching could be resumed. Students were also offered the opportunity to suspend their studies and return at a later date.

The student’s personal circumstances had changed because of the pandemic and they had to leave the course, return to their home country and obtain full-time work to support their family. This meant that they were unable to benefit from the provider’s offer to deliver practical components at a later date. The student complained to us.

During the course of our review we asked the provider to consider offering the student some compensation for the distress and inconvenience of missing out on the practical components of the course, since they were unable to benefit from the provider’s offer. It agreed to do so and, at the student’s request, waived the final instalment of tuition fees instead of making a payment to them. The student accepted that offer and the complaint to us was Settled on that basis.

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