Tuesday 17-03-2015 - 14:59
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have released their final guidance to all UK higher education institutions on how they comply with consumer law in order to ensure the rights of students.
This has the potential to make a huge positive impact on students, protecting them against unfair practices that unions have previously highlighted. The new guidance also includes specific guidance for students and advice centre staff in students unions.
CMA’s advice informs HE providers about their consumer law obligations to undergraduate students, including advising them to:
- Give students the clear, accurate and timely information that they need so they can make an informed decision about what and where to study
- Ensure that their terms and conditions are fair, for example, so they cannot make surprising changes to the course or costs
- Ensure that their complaint handling processes are accessible, clear and fair
Megan Dunn, NUS Vice President (Higher Education), said: 'I’m really pleased to see this issue being tackled by the CMA. For too long universities have been getting away with selling students false promises when they’re at the stage of choosing where to go to university, who then end up disappointed when their expectations don’t match the reality. It will now be crucial for students unions to work to make sure their institutions comply with the law and act in the best interests of students.'
NUS have put together a briefing to provide an overview of the materials published by CMA on students’ rights under consumer law, including information on how to report potential breaches of the law. You can download the briefing here.