News Article

Universities need a lecture on consumer law

Which? investigation reveals universities could be breaching consumer protection law. Brunel mentioned.

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Which? is a leading consumer rights organisation. It has recently issued a report about universities making changes to courses when they are not necessary or could be foreseeable. Half of all surveyed insert terms into their prospectuses which allow such changes, even though these could be avoided. A smaller section use unlawful terms.

Although Brunel is not among those listed as displaying unlawful practice, it has been described as a "provider with terms reflecting bad practice".

Our officers are concerned about this and will issue a statement on that matter shortly.


Previously in their  "A degree of value" report, Which? has asked whether the higher education market is delivering value for money for students and raised concerns that universities grant themselves wide discretion to make course changes once students have signed up.They found:


·   Six in ten (58%) students had experienced a change to their course such as changes to modules or location of teaching;

·  One in ten (12%) experienced an increase in tuition fees either part-way through the year or between years;

·  A third (35%) of students that experienced one or more changes thought one or more of these was unfair; and,

·  One in ten (9%) said they would have considered a different course if they’d known about one or more of the changes before applying.


The Which? Consumer Rights website has advice for students on what to do if they’ve had a change to their degree course, and how to complain to their university or course provider.