Compliance with Consumer Protection Legislation
The importance of consumer protection legislation in universities was highlighted following clarification of the law by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in 2015, when the CMA produced specific higher education guidance for the sector. This Guidance is a useful introduction to the law in this area, and gives compliance advice to Universities in the area of consumer protection.
This clarification confirmed that when a University is providing an education service they are acting for purposes in relation to their trade, business or profession which is termed a “trader” “seller” or “supplier” under consumer protection legislation.
Undergraduate students will be acting for purposes outside of their trade, business or profession, in which case they are “consumers” under the consumer protection legislation.
In addition consumer protection legislation applies to the provision of other services for students undertaken by a university (e.g. accommodation, funding and other support).
In most cases the requirements of consumer protection legislation will build on Bangor University’s commitment to treat students fairly. However the CMA guidance has highlighted the importance of ensuring ongoing university-wide efforts to ensure that information for students is timely and accurate:
- upfront, clear, transparent and accurate information that allows students to make informed choices about where to study
- fair and balanced terms and conditions that provide a clear contractual relationship between a student and their university
- robust, accessible and clear complaint handling processes that allow students to hold universities to account
The University has responded to requirements of consumer protection legislation by undertaking work to ensure that its prospective and current students receive clear, unambiguous and fair information to make informed choices about their study at Bangor University.
Work continues to be undertaken, as new processes are implemented, and changes are made to continually monitor and improve on service delivery across the University.
For more information on how the University is responding to the consumer protection legislation requirements please contact the Head of Governance and Compliance, firstname.lastname@example.org / extension 2413.