Higher Education: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 24th June 2020.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many refunds have been issued by universities to students who made complaints about the quality of tuition provided during the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Education)

Higher education (HE) providers in England are independent and autonomous bodies. They are responsible for the management of their own internal affairs, complying with any relevant legislation and for addressing student complaints. As such, responsibility for handling student complaints in the first instance and offering redress, including refunds where they consider it appropriate, is a matter for the relevant HE provider.

Regarding how many universities have offered refunds to students, this information is not held centrally.

For students who exhaust the internal university procedures and remain dissatisfied with the final outcome, they can contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education.

The OIA publishes an annual report each year which sets out the number and outcomes of complaints they received and closed as well as examples of complaints and the OIA’s recommendations.

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