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Coronavirus - CS072103

A group of students on a creative arts-based taught Masters course complained to the provider, before the pandemic, about timetabling issues, particularly in relation to guest lecturers and events, lack of access to facilities and equipment, and pressures created by a larger number of students being admitted on the course.

The provider did not accept all of the complaints raised by the students but did accept that they had some legitimate concerns. It put in place plans to mitigate those concerns but those plans were disrupted by the closure of the campus during the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. The campus closure caused additional disruption to the practical elements of the course. The provider offered the students compensation of £500 for the disruption but the students rejected the offer and complained to us.

At an early stage in our review it seemed to us that the provider’s offer did not go far enough to resolve the concerns raised by the students and accepted by the provider. We drew the provider’s attention to the approach we had taken in similar cases, referring it to our previous case summaries. The provider decided to increase its offer of compensation to £1,250 and to offer the students (who had completed their course) access to some specially scheduled practical workshops, and an opportunity to do group work, with access to equipment. The students accepted the provider’s offer and the complaint was settled on that basis.

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