Compliance with Consumer Protection Law
Policy with Regard to Compliance with Consumer Protection Law
Overall approach to ensuring compliance with consumer protection law
- The Governors and Directors of Mayur The Ayurvedic University of Europe have a strong commitment to ensuring that students rights are upheld and that as an educational provider we have a contractual responsibility to provide high quality courses that lead to qualifications that are recognised as appropriate in the relevant sector of practice and/or employment.
- We are also committed to providing higher education courses at the basic fee level approved by the government so as to encourage people from economically disadvantaged groups and under-represented groups to access higher education in order to improve their employment opportunities as well as physical and mental well-being.
- In order to fulfil our contractual obligations to students who choose to study with us we, as a responsible organization, will ensure financial viability, courses that are well-designed and delivered to a high standard by academic teams that are appropriately qualified and experienced, and provide the necessary support and infra-structural facilities to achieve good outcomes for all students.
- The information we provide to students at every stage from research to offer to enrolment will be reviewed annually and amendments and updates will be published on the website.
- In line with our commitment to protecting students’ rights as consumers we will ensure that an effective system is in place to handle complaints and that students are made aware of the policies, procedures and channels to follow in order to get a resolution or redress.
Measures that will be put in place to ensure compliance
- Clear and accurate information will be provided on our website about the courses we offer, their duration, the minimum entry requirements, the fees, the qualification that will be awarded on successful completion and the degree awarding institution’s background, address and contact details.
- Information about Mayur as the delivery provider of higher education courses will also be published on the website. The name(s) and contact details of key individual(s) will also be published to enable prospective applicants to secure further information, if desired, by telephone or email.
- The dates of Open Days will be published on the website. A choice of dates will be offered throughout the year to facilitate personal contact with key individuals within the institution who have the experience and skills to enable a prospective applicant to make informed decisions.
- An application form will be given or sent on request
- Those who apply will be offered a personal interview or telephone interview with the Dean and /or a member of the Governing Council and the Programme leader. The interview will be an opportunity to clarify and reiterate relevant information regarding the course applied for, the fees charged, information about fee increases in line with inflation, the applicant’s expectations of the course and the level of support they envisage, and the refund of fees/compensation they will be entitled to should they withdraw from the course at any point after enrolment.
- Applicants who are accepted on a course will be sent an offer letter which will once again stipulate the course name, duration, fees payable, the qualification that will be awarded on successful completion of course requirements and the degree awarding body. The date for enrolment will also be stated in the letter.
- The deadline for receiving acceptance letters will be clearly stated on the offer letter.
- At the time of enrolment, each student will receive a Programme Handbook which will clearly set out the overall aims and objectives, the programme learning outcomes, mode of delivery, assessment methods and criteria for grades and progression. Details about the support available to a student as well as the complaints handling arrangements will be set out in the Programme Handbook.
- Every student will also receive a set of Module Study Guides which provides details of the core contents, the module team, the number of tutor contact hours per week, the assessment type, schedule and marking/grading criteria. No material changes will be made to a module without prior information to the students.
A Working Group has been formed to formulate policies with regards to consumer protection and their implementation.
A key task for the Working Group is to develop a Student Protection Plan which will set out how continuation and quality of study will be ensured for current and potential students if a risk to the future of a particular programme emerges. In our history as a provider of higher education we were faced with a situation when continuing to run the Ayurveda degree with Manipal University would have been unethical as the Government’s plans to regulate the Herbal Medicine practitioners were delayed and many of our graduates were unable to practise. A decision was taken to stop accepting students after September 2007 and ensuring that all the students who were currently on the programme could complete their studies and graduate before the programme was discontinued.
The Working Group is also tasked with developing a management strategy that is designed to respond to untoward events that might threaten our education provision by having in place plans and actions that would mitigate the impact of risks to continuation of courses. Modules are reviewed annually with a view to enhance the quality of the programme. Revised details will be published before the start of the academic year. We will always take all reasonable steps to avoid implementing changes during an academic year.
We will have in place a Refund and Compensation Policy which will outline the circumstances in which we will refund tuition fees and to provide compensation where necessary if we are no longer able to preserve continuation of study. However, we consider refunds and compensation to be a remedy of last resort and we are committed to doing all we can so that refunds and compensation are not necessary.
The Academic Team is also actively considering various initiatives that will assist student support and retention and target a decrease in student non-continuation rates thereby reducing the level of refund/compensation payments.
A new website is being designed to provide updated information regarding our acceptance on the register and about courses and other relevant information. Our Student Protection Plan will also available on the website.
The Student Protection Plan will be regularly reviewed to ensure it continues to be relevant, effective and practical. Any changes which have become necessary following a mid-cycle risk assessment will be drawn to the attention of all staff via the most appropriate communication method.
Students will also be kept informed about any changes via email and a named contact will be identified to whom any queries may be directed. Mayur is committed to providing a positive experience for all our students and expect that most students will be satisfied with our provision. We recognise, however, that there will be occasions when a student is not satisfied with the way they have been dealt with or affected by an event. The Student Complaints Procedure is congruent with our commitment to responding to students’ complaints.
Student Complaints Procedure
- Students must first attempt to resolve their concerns directly with the source of their complaint unless impractical to do so.
- Direct resolution means speaking or writing to the person(s) that caused the grievance to give them the opportunity to respond.
- Direct resolution should normally take no longer than 10 working days from first raising a concern. If it is taking longer than this, students should consider making an informal complaint.
Informal Local Resolution
- Students who have attempted unsuccessfully to resolve their concerns directly with the person(s) concerned, or for whom this is impractical, should make an informal complaint in writing to the Programme Leader
- Students should receive a response in writing within 10 working days of submitting their written informal complaint.
- Should the student be dissatisfied with the response, they should consider making a formal complaint.
- Where a student remains dissatisfied after attempting to resolve their complaint directly with the person(s) concerned and through informal complaints they may make a formal complaint to the Dean.
- If the Dean decides that the student’s complaint is valid , they will appoint an investigator from a programme that has had no previous involvement with the complaint.
- The investigator will produce a report outlining how they have carried out the investigation, what evidence they have considered, and whether they uphold, partially uphold or reject the matters raised in the complaint.
- If the complaint has been upheld or partially upheld by the investigator, the report should include a proposed resolution. The resolution may include, but need not be limited to some or any of the following:
- Offering an apology to the student
- Making recommendations for changes to policies or procedures to avoid similar problems arising in the future
- Following discussion with the Dean, offering the student an academic resolution such as repetition of a course, re-submission of course-work, extension of deadlines or other exceptional waiving of regulations
- Offering a refund/compensation to the student
- Recommending that appropriate disciplinary proceedings be commenced against a member of staff. Students should note that in normal circumstances they will not be told the outcome of a disciplinary process as such matters are confidential.
- Once the report has been finalised, it will be sent to the Dean, who will then communicate the findings and recommendation(s) of the investigation to the student, the subject(s) of the complaint and to the Programme Leader.
- The student may appeal against the outcome proposed in the report. The appeal must be in writing and should state the grounds on which it is being made
- If the Dean decides that the student’s appeal is valid, they will inform the Governing Council.
- An appeal panel will be convened which will include at least one member of the Governing Council
- The student has the right to be accompanied to the hearing by one friend/supporter
- The Appeal Panel hearing shall be a review of the decision and not a re-hearing of the original complaint. The Chair of the Appeal Panel may decide to invite witnesses or request additional information
- Following the Appeal hearing, the secretary of the panel will draft a report of the Panel’s conclusions and recommendations. The Panel may decide to uphold, partially uphold or dismiss the appeal
- The Chair of the Appeals Panel shall write to the student to inform them of the decision, within 40 calendar days of the student’s appeal being received
- The Dean shall write to members of staff who are required to implement the resolution within 7 calendar days of receiving the student’s response
- The Panel’s decision constitutes the final stage of Mayur’s internal complaints procedure.
At the end of the internal appeals procedure, the student has the right, if they so wish, to submit a request for the institution’s decision to be reviewed by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.
*The Programe Handbook and a Module Study Guide from our Ayurveda degree is presented as evidence to support the commitments made in this paper. Similar documents with updated information will be provided for our new courses.