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Coronavirus - CS072102

A student was on a one-year taught postgraduate course that normally involved a field trip to a country in Asia. The field trip could not go ahead because of the global pandemic in 2020.

Instead students were asked to complete in groups a desk-based research project aimed at replicating the trip as far as possible. This included additional teaching sessions, remote research, and some virtual meetings with the organisations that the students would have visited on the field trip. The student complained to the provider about the cancellation of the field trip, asking for a refund of fees for the term during which the field trip was due to take place. The provider offered to refund to students the unspent costs of the field trip in compensation for its cancellation. It rejected the student’s complaint on the basis that compensation offered together with the academic changes it had made mitigated the disruption caused by the cancellation.

The student complained to us. We decided the complaint was Not Justified. This was because the provider had put in place reasonable measures to ensure that it was able to deliver learning that was broadly equivalent to its usual arrangements, following the unavoidable cancellation of the field trip. In addition, it had offered students a reasonable sum to compensate them for the disappointment of missing the field trip.

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