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Keeping future students up to date on programme information

05 Jul 2017

Revised guidance has been issued for Higher Education Institutions

The University is reminding staff of important regulations in relation to up-to-date, accurate programme information for prospective students.

The Consumer and Markets Authority (CMA) guidance requires all Higher Education Institutes to keep prospective students informed of important changes to their study programme (effectively from 18 months prior to enrolment). 

This might include adding an element that will incur additional costs to the students, or adding or withdrawing any compulsory elements for example.

Kersti Börjars, Associate Vice-President, said: “It has always been important to us to make sure that potential students get clear, accurate and timely information, but the CMA guidance means that there are some processes that need to be sharpened.

“It is recognised that we do need to make changes to programmes , but it is important that we make clear to applicants what kind of changes there may be and why, and also that when major changes have to be made to programmes, that we communicate with applicants and students about this.”

The CMA provided revised guidance to Higher Education institutions in March 2015 which requires Universities to take a number of actions to remain within the law.

As part of the guidance we must:

  • Provide students with clear, accurate and timely information to enable them to make an informed decision about what and where to study
  • Ensure our terms and conditions are fair, so, for example, we cannot make surprising changes to course content, or costs
  • Ensure that our complaints handling processes are accessible, clear and fair.

Emma Hilton Wood, Deputy Director of Teaching & Learning Support Office said: “It’s important that we strike a fair balance between the rights and obligations of the University and of the student. If we don’t meet our obligations, we may be in breach of consumer law and risk enforcement action.”

A handy guide has been created to assist staff understand the University’s obligations. Those staff who are directly involved in developing content for students’ study programmes will be invited to attend a training session on all the changes during the 2017/18 Autumn semester.