CCCU - Broadstairs to Canterbury - Was there REALLY enough information?
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I am currently in the beginnings of a formal complaint process with Canterbury Christ Church University. This Formal Complaint is regarding the move from Broadstairs campus to Canterbury campus as well as a cancelling of a Module on my programme but I am aware that this has happened in other programmes as well.
My name is George Stocken and I have just finished second year studying ‘Commercial Music’ over in Broadstairs. As you know, Broadstairs is no more and students are now forced to make their way over to study in Canterbury with no options to complete/Finish in Broadstairs.
I am sure all of you have heard lots on this subject but I just want to raise my voice and thoughts to see if there is anything, I can do to help the students who have not said anything to the University themselves.
After doing some research into the Terms and Conditions of Canterbury Christ Church University, specifically the Change Policy (General Principles) I can see that the University in some cases are breaching consumer law, which after reading about a study ‘Which?’ did, isn’t uncommon in a number of Universities.
I have a few main important points:-
The University did not make it clear enough that the programme would 100% be moving to Canterbury, although staying transparent on it there was no confirmation. I however chose to study at Broadstairs as it was close to home and where I work, now however I most definitely will incur excessive costs travelling to and from University as well as paying for things such as parking, things that when I decided to study at Broadstairs were not in my thought process. This programme (as I am sure I can get lectures and staff alike to confirm) is not a programme you can do from home, thus requiring me to travel in and out of University near enough every day. Also stated in the Change policy “As a general principle, changes should be implemented for the next entering cohort and not for any current students.” This inherently being ignored by disrupting my year group by changing our learning environment (that we have spent two years being accustomed to) drastically. Students have now had to find accommodation in a city that is completely alien to them as well as students who now have to travel as I said earlier will incur costs. I could go on and on but I hope I have shared some valid points.
Also after finding out that I wasn't able to do a module that is best suited to me, I sent this email to the programme administrator (who is not at fault) after being given two module choices... Music Business Futures or Studio Composition. I'm not doing either.
"I have checked through my emails and cannot see anything regarding this. As a year two student that took ‘Melodic Improvisation in theory and practice‘, in the hope of following the pathway (stated in the programme handbook) into Jazz. I have great concern and disappointment, especially as neither of the two modules offered are of interest to me and would leave me at a disadvantage going into a subject that I have no previous teaching or experience In. I realise though that also stated in the programme handbook that option modules require a minimum number of students to run, however it also states in the change policy (General Principles) that “The University’s default position is there should be no changes to material information concerning the campus location of a programme or the programme or module structure”. If not having enough students negates the policy then what is the point in having the policy as a default.
I would be intrigued to know how many the minimum is for this module to run, as I am aware of at least 4 students including myself who are massively disappointed that the module isn’t running as this is a module that best represents our aims and goals for our future endeavours. Also just to mention, Melodic Improvisation in theory and practice ran with just 5 students. So is one student not choosing the module enough to effect 4 students future in the programme?
I realise that this is not your fault or doing but I would be grateful if you could direct me to the person I have to raise this issue with."
Having researched further I have found some more evidence that the University is breaching consumer law.
What happens if I am not given the material information, it is presented in a misleading way, or I can’t find it?
Material information should be made easily accessible to you up front, including when you are considering which university and which course to apply to, and whether to accept any offers. For example, the information could be made available via the university’s website, prospectus, and course and departmental handbooks. If this information is not provided or made available, or it is hidden or difficult to access, then under the CPRs this could constitute a breach of the law known as a misleading omission.
There is no evidence of the move in any written form (available to students) and there wouldn't be because the planning permission to build the new building wasn't even accepted at the time my year started.
The CCCU website is still advertising that Commercial Music and Creative Music Technology are at Broadstairs.
I have proposed to the Uni in my Complaint form that we receive compensation in form of Fee reimbursement or a bursary that will cover food, travel, help with accommodation etc... obviously lots of people's circumstances will be different and I have to be realistic with my requests for them to even be looked at seriously.
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