Policy 057: Refunds and Compensation

Purpose and Scope

1.1. This policy is an addendum to the Finance Policy and should be read in conjunction with the most recent version of that document.

1.2. ACM’s Finance Policy deals with refunds of tuition fees to students who have withdrawn or interrupted their study during an academic year.

1.3. The Refunds and Compensation Policy sets out the circumstances in which ACM will refund tuition fees and other relevant costs to students and provide compensation if appropriate where ACM is no longer able to provide programme continuation to one of more students.

1.4. Details regarding how continuation and quality of study will be preserved for current and potential students if a risk to their continued study materialises is set out with the Student Protection Plan. The Student Protection Plan identifies non-continuation of programmes at ACM as being of low risk.

1.5. Refunds and compensation of fees and costs is considered a remedy of last resort and ACM is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure all students can continue and complete their studies.

1.6. Financial compensation will not necessarily be the most appropriate response where the institution has failed to meet its obligations, it may be appropriate to offer, for example, an apology, a goodwill gesture, an alteration to learning methods, or an option to repeat tailored to the specific needs of the student.

1.7. ACM recognises its responsibilities in law, this includes:

1.7.1. Statutory responsibilities under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) and the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA);

1.7.2. The Student Protection Plan and Refund and Compensation Plan are a requirement of registration with the Office of Students (OfS);

1.7.3. Sector wide responsibilities relating to the Office for the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA. Students have recourse to the OIA where internal ACM processes have been completed.

1.8. Within this policy reference to circumstances where ACM is no longer able to provide programme continuation include:

1.8.1. Scheduled Mid-programme termination

1.8.2. Unexpected programme termination

1.9. This policy is not applicable to changes to or terminations of programmes where all registered students expected to complete their programmes at the date of termination have done so.

 

  1. Policy Statement

Scheduled Mid-Programme Termination

2.1. A scheduled mid-programme termination relates to circumstances where ACM can no longer preserve continuity but is able to plan and align the termination with the end of an academic year or academic Level.

2.2. Where such circumstances arise ACM, will in the first place, consult with students in preparing its plan for dealing with the termination. As minimum it will:

  • ensure students receive the relevant university award (in accordance with the validating university regulations) that recognises the stage or level they have achieved;
  • provide advice and support to help with the transfer to an equivalent or alternative programme at ACM to enable them to complete their programme if that is their preference.
  • provide advice and support to help with the transfer to another provider or university to enable them to complete their programme.
  • consult with students, through the student representative network, to put in place a compensation plan relevant to the circumstances of the termination that includes provision for compensation in respect of additional costs reasonably incurred by students as a result of any relocation.
  • commit to honouring any student bursaries that would have continued had the programme not been terminated.

Unexpected programme termination

2.3 An unexpected programme termination occurs when:

  • a risk to continuation of study materialises without prior warning and ACM has no alternative but to terminate during the course of an academic year or
  • ACM fails to recruit sufficiently to a programme and closes to new recruits impacting on individuals that have already been offered or accepted places on that programme

2.4 Where such circumstances arise, ACM will consult and communicate with relevant students as a priority. As a minimum ACM will:

  • ensure students receive the relevant University award (in accordance with the validating university regulations) that recognises the stage or level they have achieved;
  • provide advice and support to help with the transfer to an equivalent or alternative programme at ACM to enable them to complete their programme if that is their preference.
  • provide advice and support to help with the transfer to another provider or university to enable them to complete their programme.
  • consult with students, through the student representative network, to put in place a compensation plan relevant to the circumstances of the termination that includes provision for compensation in respect of additional costs reasonably incurred by students as a result of any relocation.
  • commit to honouring any student bursaries that would have continued had the programme not been terminated.

Compensation

2.5  Any payments associated with a compensation plan will include appropriate provision for:

  • tuition fee costs (cover tuition fee loans, from the Student Loans Company, self-funded tuition fees or payment of tuition fees from a sponsor)
  • maintenance costs
  • lost time
  • additional tuition costs
  • travel costs as a result of relocation of provision

2.6 Further to this relevant guidance published by the Office for Students or the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education will be taken into account in preparing such plans.

General

2.7 This Refund and Compensation Policy is linked to ACM’s Student Protection Plan, and the Finance Policy. Both documents are subject to an annual review.

2.8 This policy will not normally apply to individuals who have completed the studies for which they registered as a student of ACM.

2.9 Queries about the application of this policy should be addressed to complaints@acm.ac.uk in the first instance.

3. Reference Points

3.1 Internal

3.2 External

4. Approval and Review

The policy will be reviewed as part of departmental annual review cycle and agreed by the most relevant committee.

Department:

Committee:

Version:  1.0

Approved on:

 

 

Posted in: Middlesex Policies