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Coronavirus - CS052201

A group of students was on a two-year healthcare-related postgraduate research course. The students complained to the provider about a number of issues including problems with laboratory work and feedback, frequent timetable changes, and the move from lab-based projects to desk-based projects during a nationwide lockdown in the Covid-19 pandemic.

There were other administrative issues with the course. The provider upheld some of the students’ complaints and offered some compensation.

The group was not happy with the provider’s offer and complained to us. The provider then increased its offer of compensation to £1,000 for each of the students in the group but the group again rejected the offer.

During our review, we drew the provider’s attention to our published case summaries and, specifically, to a summary of a similar complaint involving the loss of a lab-based practical research project. The provider agreed that the case was similar and increased its offer of compensation to £1,500. Some of the students accepted the provider’s offer, but others in the group did not, because they felt the provider had not addressed some important issues they raised in their complaint, some of which arose before the pandemic. We had further discussions with the provider which then offered a total of £2,500 compensation for each of the remaining students in the group, being £1,500 in relation to the change of project, and £1,000 for the other issues raised by the group. The group accepted this offer, and the complaint was Settled on that basis.