Complaints about GSM London
GSM London has gone into Administration. This means that its financial assets are being controlled by appointed administrators, from accountancy firm BDO.
GSM London will be carrying on all of its teaching and assessment activities until the end of this semester in September. After this, GSM London does not expect to deliver any more teaching.
If you are a student at GSM London and you have a complaint you may be able to complain to us.
Please fill in our complaint form so that we can decide whether we can help you.
I am just about to complete my course, will I get my degree?
If you are studying for the last part of your course over the summer, and have achieved the required number of credits (passed enough modules), then yes, you should be awarded your degree.
I am not happy with the degree classification I have been awarded. What can I do?
Almost all students at GSM London were or are studying for a degree or certificate awarded by University of Plymouth. If you are unhappy about your award, you may be able to complain to us. Please fill in our complaint form. If necessary, we will pass the information on to University of Plymouth to look at. If you aren’t happy at the end of that process, you may be able to complain to us.
I am in the middle of my studies, what can I do?
GSM London intends to continue teaching and assessment as normal until the end of the current semester in September. If you possibly can, it is important for you to complete as many modules as you can before GSM London closes. You should meet any coursework deadlines and sit any exams during this period.
Depending on your course, you may be awarded an interim qualification part of the way through your degree. For example, after one year of study, if you have passed enough modules, you can be given a Certificate of Higher Education; and after two years it’s a Diploma of Higher Education. You may see these shortened to CertHE and DipHE. A lot of universities and colleges will accept students with a CertHe or DipHE onto a course in the second or third year. You may see this referred to on their websites as “Accredited Prior Learning” or APL.
GSM London has set up a dedicated team to help students through this period called the Student Support Office (SSO). You can contact the SSO by email at email@example.com or by phone on 020 8003 3803.
SSO is working to find other places where you can continue to study a course which is as similar as possible to the course you were on. It will provide you with advice about whether you need to make an application to a new college or university and try to give you as much information as it can about what you would study, what qualification you would get, what fees you would need to pay and so on.
It is important that GSM has your contact details to keep you informed about what is happening. If you haven't received any communications from GSM, please contact the SSO to update your contact details.
What if SSO cannot help me?
The SSO will give students information about other higher education providers, their courses, and the application process. The SSO may have information about more options as discussions with other higher education providers continue; so do keep in touch with them.
If there are reasons that mean you cannot take up an option that is being offered to you, explain what those are. SSO may be able to help find solutions to work around the problem.
It is possible that there is no other course which exactly matches what you were studying, or that the alternatives are disappointing for you in some other way. It is your decision whether or not to take what is being suggested to you. But you will need to be realistic and practical about the situation. SSO may not be able to find a perfect solution for everyone. You will have to take some actions to make the best of a bad situation.
What if I don’t want to finish my course somewhere else?
You do not have to continue studying on another course if you do not want to.
All student records will be transferred to the University of Plymouth for safekeeping and current and past GSM London students will be able to obtain a copy of their transcript from them. So, if you decide to return to study at a later date, the University of Plymouth should have the information you will need about your study so far.
Can’t I just get all my money back?
This is not very likely. If you have paid tuition fees and received teaching up until the point that GSM London closes, then it is unlikely that you will be able to get a refund for this. The situation might be different if you have paid any tuition fees for teaching after September 2019 in advance. You should contact GSM for advice if you have paid fees in advance.
Can I complain to the OIA?
If you want to complain about GSM London, you should fill in our complaint form. We cannot say for certain whether or not we can look at the complaint, or what we might decide about it, until you send it to us. We will tell you as quickly as we can whether we will be able to look at it.
Do not worry if you do not have a Completion of Procedures letter.
What we can do about your complaint will depend on exactly what the complaint is about.
For example, if your complaint was about something like poor facilities or inaccessible buildings when you were on the course, there may not be anything we can do to help put things right. These kind of issues were the responsibility of GSM London; since GSM London is in administration it may not be able to take action in response to complaints like this.
If your complaint is focused on more academic matters, it is possible that the University of Plymouth could respond to the complaint. So for example, if you are not happy with your degree classification, or if you have not been awarded a CertHE/DipHE, we may be able to look at your complaint. We may need to ask the University to look at it first; but please fill in our complaint form and we will redirect it as necessary.
If your complaint is about the fact that GSM London has gone into administration, and/or about the help and advice you have received since the administration was announced, we may be able to review a complaint. The University which awards the degrees is still open; it has some responsibility through what is called a Student Protection Plan, to help you. If your complaint is that you have not received enough help, or options which are suitable for you, we may be able to look at the University’s actions. Fill in our complaint form, and we will let you know.
You may find it helpful to read our information about the sort of complaints we can look at.
Can’t the OIA do something to keep GSM London open?
No. GSM London will not be delivering any teaching or assessment after the end of the semester in September 2019 because it is in administration. This means that it does not have the funds to continue to operate legally as a business. We are the independent complaints body, not a regulator, and we do not have the power to stop a provider from going into administration.
Can’t someone else keep GSM London open?
Universities and Colleges are independent bodies; although some get some public funds they are not owned or run by the government; this means that Universities and Colleges are responsible for their own financial decisions and the outcomes of those.
Higher Education in the UK is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS).
I am worried about money. Will I get my next student loan payment?
The Student Loans Company has an advice line for GSM London students. Please call 0300 100 0084.
If you are very worried about your financial situation, then you could speak to:
- The Money Advisory Service. This is a free government service
- Your local Citizen’s Advice Service
- Student Finance England
You can find information about some other sources of support for students on our website.
I have a Completion of Procedures letter from GSM London dated between 1 August 2018 and 1 August 2019. What should I do?
You can still make your complaint to us. You should send it to us as soon as possible. We will try to look at the complaint as quickly as possible.