Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

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Denwand
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Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby Denwand » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:50 am

My son is in the 1st year of his course,

He loves the course, the Uni, the accomodation, his new friends - in fact we recently thanked the Lord how well everything has gone academically.

We should never have tempted fate!!!

Uni has announced a complete change in course structure - the part that he's interested in and why he enrolled has been dumped and changed beyond recognition,

My son is not interested in the new course - it's not what he wanted to study.

Also;

* The 80 or so fellow students are also unhappy
* Course lecturers unhappy
* Uni had advertised the course on enrolment
* Uni STILL has original course advertised online in next years prospectus (more dissapointed students?)
* There is no other course that is anywhere near the equivalent at that Uni
* No other UK Uni does an equivalent course (which is why he went there)
* Son will have to leave and will loose any student grant/loan et if he as to join another course somewhere else next year...

We are at our wits end.

Who can we complain to? (Uni does not want to know)
How can we escalate.

This is more than just a wrongly described product supplied...this is my son's life and can mean that higher education is denied him...for life! All his hopes and dreams dashed.

If anyone can give some advice, especially those who know academia please do. Any advice on who to contact and who can advise would be so welcome.

Thanks in advance.
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papinian
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby papinian » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:50 pm

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papinian
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby papinian » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:59 pm

It's worth looking at the synopses of past decisions of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator here: http://www.oiahe.org.uk/news-and-public ... udies.aspx#

Case studies 15 and 53 seem relevant to what you are dealing with.
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papinian
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby papinian » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:04 pm

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Denwand
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby Denwand » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:50 pm

Thanks Papinian - these are very useful.
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hblomefield
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby hblomefield » Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:04 am

This is really shocking to hear, it would be interesting to know which university and course your son is on - although I appreciate you may not wish to disclose this information.

Obviously this is a stressful time for all of you as your son had previously been enjoying his course, and you were content in knowing that he was on the right path. In terms of the financial concerns, the case of changed course from 'contract' of university application should mean that the money is not lost - but this might take some time to chase down.

As the helpful above suggests, to make a complaint you need to complete the form here, using as much detail as possible in order to create a solid case:
https://www.oiahe.org.uk/making-a-compl ... form.aspx?

Whilst the complaint, and ensuring no money is lost, are clearly important - it will also be important to make sure your son does not feel completely dejected by this. Without knowing his course it is hard to help, but I hope that there is a possibility that he can find something that he finds equally interesting and rewarding.

Harriet
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Denwand
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby Denwand » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:06 am

Harriet thank you so much for that.

You can understand that I don't want to "name names" at this point as I don't know where this is going legally.

I will start a OIA complaint (Office of the Independent Adjudicator) - however it seems that my son's Uni is not signed up to the scheme (neither are many organisations - mostly ones highlighted in the Which? report for having unfair or downright illegal contracts with their students!)

However all is not lost as the OIA say they can still help although my guess that help may be toothless!

Seems to me at this point that Universities can do what they like here - and some of the most prestigious ones are the main offenders!
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hblomefield
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby hblomefield » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:19 am

Of course, I completely understand.

Best of luck with trying to get to the bottom of it all. It sounds like a deeply frustrating situation. Perhaps it is worth flagging up to Which? as I am sure that they will be interested to learn more about these instances and they may even have some of their own suggestions.

All the best
Harriet
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kiwimummy
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby kiwimummy » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:07 am

The University will have its own complaints process, so students should avail themselves of that.

Also, if you are willing to invest a small amount of money, try having a conversation with a firm that specialises in education law. Some suggestions are Veale Wasbrough or Mills & Reeve. They may be able to give you a steer.

There are new consumer regs which apply to higher ed which the Uni will be familar with.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... -providers

See page 43 onwards. A term in the Uni contract that permits wide discretion to vary the course may be an unfair term so they might not be entitled to rely on it. Which or an external lawyer can help you with that.

Good luck.
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Denwand
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Re: Help! Son's Uni Course Changed Underneath Him-What to do???

Postby Denwand » Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:37 pm

Thank you Kiwimummy - I will take your helpful advice!
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