Universities, colleges and other HE providers are rightly proud of the high quality HE experience that is offered to students in England.
There are however occasions when it is not possible to continue to offer the course as it was described to students when they were applying.
There are many reasons for this. Modules need to be discontinued because they are no longer up to date; teaching staff leave and the provider may no longer be able to operate from a particular site or building.
Statement of good practice
The Committee of University Chairs therefore welcomes the newly launched statement of good practice on student protection in the event of course changes or closure, which has been drawn up by a group of sector bodies.
The statement outlines what is already the case for students at most providers when courses change or close:
- providers inform and consult with students
- students are offered alternative provision
- if the alternative is not acceptable to students, provision elsewhere will be identified and students’ progress so far will be certificated
- if provision is not available elsewhere, students will receive financial compensation.
These protections are familiar practice for most providers. What is new is the fact that they are explicitly outlined in the statement.
As universities, colleges and other providers begin to take on board the advice from the Competitions and Markets Authority about making information available to students, the statement will be helpful for providers as a yardstick by which they can measure themselves.