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Coronavirus - CS072104

A cohort of students was on a Business-related taught postgraduate course, paying tuition fees of over £24,000. In March 2020 their provider suspended all face-to-face teaching and activities as a result of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

The students complained to the provider about lectures that had been missed during previous industrial action, and about the alternative arrangements the provider put in place when teaching moved online. They said the online provision was of lower quality and that they missed out on access to executive facilities (including meals that were covered by the fees), summer school activities, visits to businesses, and networking and career development opportunities. The provider rejected the cohort’s complaint and a group of the students complained to us.

We thought that the provider had not considered whether it had delivered the teaching and learning that it had promised the students, or something broadly equivalent to it. We discussed our approach to complaints of this nature and drew the provider’s attention to some of the case summaries that we have published. We invited the provider to reconsider the complaint and whether it might make an offer to settle it. The provider agreed to do so and offered the students the sum of £2,000 each to compensate for a shortfall in delivery of some aspects of the course and to recognise that there were opportunities that the students reasonably had expected to benefit from during the course. The students accepted the provider’s offer, and the complaint was settled on that basis.

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