As a registered provider of higher education, Bristol Baptist College has published a Student Protection Plan which sets out how continuation and quality of study will be preserved for current and potential students if a risk to their continued study crystallises. The Student Protection Plan is designed to assure current and future students that the College has appropriate arrangements in place to protect continuation of study. It outlines the types of risks that might apply and explains the approach the College would take if these risks were to materialise.
In addition to the Student Protection Plan, the College is required to adopt a Refund and Compensation Policy setting out the circumstances in which it will refund tuition fees and other relevant costs to students and provide compensation where necessary if the College is no longer able to preserve continuation of study for one or more students. The Student Protection Plan identifies this as an unlikely risk but the College recognises that if it were to occur, affected students should receive a refund of fees and appropriate compensation in accordance with this policy.
Bristol Baptist College considers refunds and compensation to be a remedy of last resort. The College will always aim to teach students to the end of their programme even when a decision has been taken to close an academic programme and to cease admissions to it. This policy will only apply where the College determines that it is not possible to teach a student through to the end of their academic programme. It is however important to explain how the College will refund or compensate students if it is unable to preserve that continuity of study. In the unlikely event of the College not being able to ‘teach out’ students on a programme that is being discontinued, students will be offered the opportunity to transfer to another programme at the College. Where there is not a suitable alternative programme at the College, the College will consider supporting students to transfer to a suitable programme at another UK college or university. In the case of students on Common Awards programmes, this is most likely to be another Theological Education Institution (TEI) also validated by Durham University through Common Awards.
In this Policy a reference to the College no longer being able to preserve continuation of study means that the College has terminated or intends to terminate either:
(i) a programme of study on which an individual has been offered or accepted a place before that individual can register as a student or
(ii) a programme of study on which a student is registered before that student has completed that programme.
It does not include changes to or termination of programmes where all registered students who would normally have been expected to complete at the date of termination have done so. Continuation of study may be threatened by either (a) a planned or (b) unplanned programme termination.
If such circumstances arise, the College will treat communication and consultation with the students registered on the programme as a priority. As a minimum, it will:
(i) ensure all students on the programme receive the award (for example, certificate or diploma) that recognises the stage they have reached;
(ii) offer those students advice and support to help them decide whether or not to transfer to a different programme at the College or seek transfer to a suitable alternative provider to complete the programme which is to be terminated;
(iii) offer to pay reasonable travel costs to cover at least one visit per student to such an alternative provider;
(iv) put in place in consultation with the students concerned an individual refund and compensation plan relevant to the circumstances of the particular termination that includes provision for a refund of tuition fees and compensation in respect of additional costs reasonably incurred by students as a result of the termination, any change of programme and any relocation; and
(v) ensure that any student who has been in receipt of a bursary or similar funding and who would have continued to receive that bursary or funding had the programme not terminated receives the remainder of that bursary or funding whether they transfer to a different programme at the College or to the same programme at an alternative provider.
The College will also ensure that it communicates with and compensates individuals who have been offered or who have accepted a place on the programme, to include as a minimum an offer of advice and support to help them decide whether or not to apply for a different programme at the College or seek a suitable alternative.
The individual refund and compensation plan will include appropriate provision for:
(i) maintenance costs;
(ii) lost time;
(iii) additional tuition costs;
(iv) travel costs as a result of relocation of provision.
Relevant guidance published by either the Office for Students or the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education will be taken into account in preparing any such plans.
This policy covers all students of the College. It covers students in receipt of a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company; students who pay their own tuition fees; and students whose tuition fees are paid by a sponsor. In all cases, tuition fees and other costs will only be refunded to the original fee-payer/sponsor.
This Refund and Compensation Policy is linked to the University’s Student Protection Plan and forms an important part of the College’s Student Terms and Conditions
Queries about the application of this policy should be addressed to the College Manager in the first instance.
The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.