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Government releases new advice on students' consumer rights

The Competition and Markets Authority has released advice to universities, outlining their responsibilities to students under consumer protection law. 

This advice comes as a result of report published by the Office of Fair Trading in 2014 that highlighted issues in the way universities provide information on tuition fees, course content and complaints procedures to students. 

The advice states that: 

  • Universities must provide prospective students with: information on course content, length and location, the total cost of courses, the university’s terms and conditions and policies relating to student conduct, and students’ right to cancel 
  • Universities’ terms and conditions must strike a fair balance between the rights and obligations of the university and the student, and not give the university wide discretion to change a course’s cost or content 
  • Universities’ complaints processes must be fair, transparent and easily accessible to students 

Universities have until October 2015 to make any changes necessary to comply with this recent interpretation of consumer law. 

In the coming months the Students’ Union will be issuing resources that outline students’ rights in further detail, and who to talk to if you think your rights have been breached.

 

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