Academic Sanctions for financial reasons and the OFT report into academic Sanctions breaching consumer law

Mr Bowen made this Freedom of Information request to Open University

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Dear Open University,

Can you please provide all information you hold regarding the use of Academic Sanctions against those in arrears with fees. I understand the Office of Fair Trading compiled a report some time ago and wrote to all universities on this matter warning universities may be in breach of consumer law.

As such please provide all information you hold including any reports, minutes of meetings, emails, any complaints received on this matter and any data where you have changed your policy to accommodate the findings of the OFT report.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Bowen

Freedom-of-Information, Open University

5 Attachments

Dear Mr Bowen,

Thank you for your request for information about the use of academic sanctions against students in arrears with fees, including information about changes to policy to accommodate the findings of OFT.

Please find attached the following information:
1. Letter to universities from the Office of Fair Trading (universitiesletter.pdf)
2. Universities terms and conditions report from the OFT (OFT1522.pdf)
3. Contents of email from the Assistant Director (Student Casework and Policy Coordination) to the Director, Students
4. Open University Senate Paper S-2014-02-10
5. Relevant minute for Senate meeting S-2014-02 showing approval of the changes

Once the letter from OFT was received in February 2014, the University began to fully consider its regulations, terms and conditions and debt procedures in light of the OFT report. On 20th March the Assistant Director wrote to the Director, Students and as a result a paper was presented to the Senate in April 2014. The Senate is the academic authority of the University, responsible for promoting the academic work of the University in teaching, learning, research and enterprise.

I hope this information is useful. Should you require anything further please contact this office again.

Yours sincerely,

The Freedom of Information Team
University Secretary’s Office
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA
Tel: 01908 653994

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