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Placement - CS032402

An international student applied for a four-year programme advertised on the provider’s website. The advertised programme included a placement year.

The student received an offer letter for a four-year programme. The student accepted the offer and before they began their studies the provider issued the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) Letter that the student needed to apply for their visa. The CAS Letter indicated that the programme was three years long. 

The student contacted the programme team to query the discrepancy. The four-year programme had been advertised in error and the provider only offered a three-year route to the award with no placement year. The programme team said it would contact another department at the provider that did offer placement years to see if it could exceptionally identify a suitable placement opportunity for the student. In the meantime, the student enrolled on the three-year programme and began their studies. Toward the end of the student’s first year, the programme team confirmed that despite efforts to find a placement, the student would not be able to undertake a placement because there was not a validated programme available at the provider that would support that route to the award.  

The student submitted a formal complaint to their provider and explained that the placement was one of the main reasons they decided to apply for the programme, and they felt the lack of a placement year would negatively impact their career prospects. The provider upheld the complaint and offered the student £10,000. This was made up of a full fee waiver for the first year and £1,300 in compensation for distress and inconvenience. The provider also provided details of several other options available to the student to develop employment-related skills and gain practical experience.  

The student complained to us. They asked for a full refund of three years’ tuition fees and enhanced compensation. We did not uphold the student’s complaint (we decided it was Not Justified on the basis that a reasonable offer had been made) because we thought the provider’s offer to resolve the complaint was reasonable and the provider confirmed that it was willing to re-make its offer.