How can a uni refuse to refund after losing their accreditation?

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    Hi All,

    I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right place. I'm looking for advice. I'm a mature student studying online and my university has lost its accreditation. I've checked it out and the academic credits I've built up so far aren't transferable to other universities so I'm going to have to start from scratch!!!

    It's a really stressful situation. I'd get over having to start again but the university I'm at is now telling me that they won't refund my tuition (I've paid over 2k so far) because I completed my modules. I'm obviously only withdrawing because without accreditation the course has become worthless overnight.

    I'm learning online because I'm based in France so I don't know the UK system. I'm unemployed and was doing this course in the first place in an effort to retrain. I put my savings into it and really can't afford to lose them but I don't know what recourse I have if the university is refusing to refund me.

    Has anyone out there had or heard of anyone else who's had an experience of this kind? If you have any advice at all I'd be very grateful.

    Thanks,
    J
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    I don't think you were studying with a university at all, so I'm not sure what to suggest. It sounds like you were studying with some kind of home-study provider. The Open University and the University of London's International Programme are the only accredited British distance learning providers.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    I don't think you were studying with a university at all, so I'm not sure what to suggest. It sounds like you were studying with some kind of home-study provider. The Open University and the University of London's International Programme are the only accredited British distance learning providers.
    Thanks for replying! I'm with the University of Derby so it's a real uni alright. They still haven't gotten back to me and are being very difficult about refunding me. The credits I've done with them aren't transferable to other unis either so I have to start from the beginning again. If they don't refund me though I won't be in a position to start again with another uni. It's such a mess. I can't believe it.
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    (Original post by Jade199)
    Thanks for replying! I'm with the University of Derby so it's a real uni alright. They still haven't gotten back to me and are being very difficult about refunding me. The credits I've done with them aren't transferable to other unis either so I have to start from the beginning again. If they don't refund me though I won't be in a position to start again with another uni. It's such a mess. I can't believe it.
    The University of Derby hasn't lost its accreditation? Can you be more specific, exactly what course did you do? Does it have a webpage?
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    My course is the certificate:
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course...ty-certificate

    Which is a prerequisite for the Masters:
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course...conversion-msc

    The masters has lost its accreditation from the British Psychological Society. When I tried to transfer to other universities with the certificate (which is 60 units of the full 180 units required to complete the MSc) they said they don't recognize Derby's credits.
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    (Original post by Jade199)
    Hi All,

    I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right place. I'm looking for advice. I'm a mature student studying online and my university has lost its accreditation. I've checked it out and the academic credits I've built up so far aren't transferable to other universities so I'm going to have to start from scratch!!!

    It's a really stressful situation. I'd get over having to start again but the university I'm at is now telling me that they won't refund my tuition (I've paid over 2k so far) because I completed my modules. I'm obviously only withdrawing because without accreditation the course has become worthless overnight.

    I'm learning online because I'm based in France so I don't know the UK system. I'm unemployed and was doing this course in the first place in an effort to retrain. I put my savings into it and really can't afford to lose them but I don't know what recourse I have if the university is refusing to refund me.

    Has anyone out there had or heard of anyone else who's had an experience of this kind? If you have any advice at all I'd be very grateful.

    Thanks,
    J
    Hi sorry for your experience, but as you recognise this is more difficult becayse you are in France.

    I would suggest:
    1. You contact the SU at Derby in otder to get assistance with making a complaint.
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/about/organis...ns/complaints/
    https://www.udsu.co.uk/advice/academic/

    Skype would be ok , but the e-mail is
    [email protected]

    2. The aim is to complete the complaints procedure. It might resolve it if someone presents your case properly and it is failry adjuicated.

    3. At the same time I would contact the office of the independent adjuicator to take advice on whether you would be eligible for them to consider your case. I am more wary of the fact you are in France. They cna tell you yes or no.

    If it was a yes, then you simply lodge your claim with them and someone independent looks into it. It is free. You have to have exhausted the internal complaints procedure first.

    If they cant hear it, then I would check with OIA who they believe the appropriate regulator is. You could try checking with the one in France.

    4. Alternatively you could look at suing them either in the UK or French courts. You would need to take legal advice on this. The French must have soemthing similar to Citizens advice? The advantage of suing them in France if they have jurisidiction would be the hassle facor for them to defend. Youd obviously need a legal assessment as to the merits of your case.

    I did a quick google and there are several suggestions as to who an equivalent might be but am uncomfy suggesting any of them as some might not be appropriate. If you google yourself then you cna make your own mind up.

    5. The other alternative is to sue them in UK courts, but again youd need a legal assessment.

    6. You could either try CAB
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ab...-chat-service/

    or on the phone
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/co...onsumer-issue/

    Alternatively you could try joining Which on the free trial a, get legal advice and then cancel your subscription.
    http://www.which.co.uk/about-which/w...-with-a-trial/



    You dont say what accreditation it was for. have you contacted the actual accrediting body and taken advice on how to proceed? Maybe Derby will be able to get it back?
    I see you pused additional info about it being Psychology. Contact BSS and see if they cna offer any insight.

    Dont give up hope, but its a case of having to hunt down answers. Someone will need to chat with you and do quite a lot of research to see what sort of case you have, hence imo it would be good for you of the oia felt able to take it.
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    Wow, that's fabulous advice. That you so much tigger for taking the time to send me your thoughts. I have seen how to go about the internal complaints with them. That'd be my next step I suppose. In the meantime I don't know if I'm supposed to keep following the course or not. I probably will for now but it seems a bit ridiculous.

    As for them getting the accreditation back. They won't know till march or april when the accrediting body will do another audit (the British Psychological Society). I was supposed to start the MSc part of the course in January so I won't be doing that now since they won't know about the accreditation then.

    To be honest, it's been so stressful dealing with them that I don't think I'd continue with them anyway. I also don't want to have to take a 6 month break from studying on the off chance they might get their accreditation back. Also the fact they lost it in the first place means their course is sub par, which is my experience of it too. They don't answer questions in their forums, don't mark coursework, use the same classes recorded 6 years ago and the lecturers have moved on since. Besides all of that, the fact that so far they've been too dishonest to just refund students would put me off the University of Derby altogether.

    Thanks again for your help, I'll get on with the next stage of things this week. So frustrating to be spending time this way though, everyone's busy enough without such unnecessary stress!


    (Original post by 999tigger)
    Hi sorry for your experience, but as you recognise this is more difficult becayse you are in France.

    I would suggest:
    1. You contact the SU at Derby in otder to get assistance with making a complaint.
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/about/organis...ns/complaints/
    https://www.udsu.co.uk/advice/academic/

    Skype would be ok , but the e-mail is
    [email protected]

    2. The aim is to complete the complaints procedure. It might resolve it if someone presents your case properly and it is failry adjuicated.

    3. At the same time I would contact the office of the independent adjuicator to take advice on whether you would be eligible for them to consider your case. I am more wary of the fact you are in France. They cna tell you yes or no.

    If it was a yes, then you simply lodge your claim with them and someone independent looks into it. It is free. You have to have exhausted the internal complaints procedure first.

    If they cant hear it, then I would check with OIA who they believe the appropriate regulator is. You could try checking with the one in France.

    4. Alternatively you could look at suing them either in the UK or French courts. You would need to take legal advice on this. The French must have soemthing similar to Citizens advice? The advantage of suing them in France if they have jurisidiction would be the hassle facor for them to defend. Youd obviously need a legal assessment as to the merits of your case.

    I did a quick google and there are several suggestions as to who an equivalent might be but am uncomfy suggesting any of them as some might not be appropriate. If you google yourself then you cna make your own mind up.

    5. The other alternative is to sue them in UK courts, but again youd need a legal assessment.

    6. You could either try CAB
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ab...-chat-service/

    or on the phone
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/co...onsumer-issue/

    Alternatively you could try joining Which on the free trial a, get legal advice and then cancel your subscription.
    http://www.which.co.uk/about-which/w...-with-a-trial/



    You dont say what accreditation it was for. have you contacted the actual accrediting body and taken advice on how to proceed? Maybe Derby will be able to get it back?
    I see you pused additional info about it being Psychology. Contact BSS and see if they cna offer any insight.

    Dont give up hope, but its a case of having to hunt down answers. Someone will need to chat with you and do quite a lot of research to see what sort of case you have, hence imo it would be good for you of the oia felt able to take it.
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    (Original post by Jade199)
    My course is the certificate:
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course...ty-certificate

    Which is a prerequisite for the Masters:
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course...conversion-msc

    The masters has lost its accreditation from the British Psychological Society. When I tried to transfer to other universities with the certificate (which is 60 units of the full 180 units required to complete the MSc) they said they don't recognize Derby's credits.
    You won't be able to transfer the 60 credits into a MSc because they are level 4 (a MSc is level 7).

    If I've understood you correctly, you already have an undergraduate degree and you want to do a MSc in psychology, is that right? I think you may have wasted your money on this Derby 60-credit certificate, you didn't need to do it. Most MSc Psychology conversion courses do not require previous psychology study, that's why they're called conversion courses. See a list of courses here: http://www.bps.org.uk/bpslegacy/ac?f...Search_Type=NC
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    I know but the certificate plus the MSc at Derby is worth 180 credits, which is the same as the MSc in other universities, it's just that some unis don't separate out the 180 credits into a 60 credit certificate plus a 120 credit MSc, they just do the MSc of 180 credits


    (Original post by Snufkin)
    You won't be able to transfer the 60 credits into a MSc because they are level 4 (a MSc is level 7).

    If I've understood you correctly, you already have an undergraduate degree and you want to do a MSc in psychology, is that right? I think you may have wasted your money on this Derby 60-credit certificate, you didn't need to do it. Most MSc Psychology conversion courses do not require previous psychology study, that's why they're called conversion courses. See a list of courses here: http://www.bps.org.uk/bpslegacy/ac?f...Search_Type=NC
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    (Original post by Jade199)
    I know but the certificate plus the MSc at Derby is worth 180 credits, which is the same as the MSc in other universities, it's just that some unis don't separate out the 180 credits into a 60 credit certificate plus a 120 credit MSc, they just do the MSc of 180 credits
    A master's degree has to be made up of 180 credits at level 7. You were never going to be allowed to use the credits from the certificate and put them towards a MSc, not at Derby and not anywhere else.
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    That's confusing, Manchester Metropolitan does recognize the credits and have apparently already accepted Derby students with those credits. But they're full for this year so that'd be sept 2017 which is too far off.
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    (Original post by Jade199)
    That's confusing, Manchester Metropolitan does recognize the credits and have apparently already accepted Derby students with those credits. But they're full for this year so that'd be sept 2017 which is too far off.
    Accepting someone on to a degree programme is not the same thing as allowing you to transfer 60 first-year undergraduate credits into a master's level qualification. No university does that. :indiff:

    Anyway, I'm tired of repeating myself - in future I suggest you do a lot more research before spending money on a course.
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    (Original post by Jade199)
    My course is the certificate:
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course...ty-certificate

    Which is a prerequisite for the Masters:
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/online/course...conversion-msc

    The masters has lost its accreditation from the British Psychological Society. When I tried to transfer to other universities with the certificate (which is 60 units of the full 180 units required to complete the MSc) they said they don't recognize Derby's credits.
    From what you've said, you don't have any right to a refund. The course you're studying hasn't lost accreditation, it's just the masters that has. It's not even the case that the course you're doing only leads into the masters as the page linked shows you can go onto other qualifications with it.

    So the course you're doing now has not changed. You're still achieving the same qualification. The masters accreditation isn't relevant to the certificate.
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    OP I think Juno and snuffkin are making some very valid points abiout just what has happened and the impact. Its quite possible that what Juno says at 13 is true, in which case its your misunderstanding of the system that leaves you with no right of redress.

    This is why going to talk to someone so they can properly assess whether you have a case at all is important.

    I dont think it would do you any harm if you joined the BPS as a student member and did some networking pl talked to careers there. They will understand your intended pathway and see the significance of the course you are doing. They cna tell you straight where they think you stand and which courses might be suitable. It is possible the accreditation may come back, the BPS and the course organiser can give you insight onto that.

    You should hold fire on making any complaint until you have a sound grasp of what has happened and whetehr your grievance has any merit. It depends how the course was sold to you.

    Maybe join as a student member- talk to careers, accreditation and someone on the student committee.
    http://www.bps.org.uk/member-network...dent-committee

    They should be able to give you the guidance you need.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    From what you've said, you don't have any right to a refund. The course you're studying hasn't lost accreditation, it's just the masters that has. It's not even the case that the course you're doing only leads into the masters as the page linked shows you can go onto other qualifications with it.

    So the course you're doing now has not changed. You're still achieving the same qualification. The masters accreditation isn't relevant to the certificate.
    Yes only that when I went to apply for the MSc they said I had to have the certificate first. The ONLY reason I'm doing the cert is to get onto the MSc.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    OP I think Juno and snuffkin are making some very valid points abiout just what has happened and the impact. Its quite possible that what Juno says at 13 is true, in which case its your misunderstanding of the system that leaves you with no right of redress.

    This is why going to talk to someone so they can properly assess whether you have a case at all is important.

    I dont think it would do you any harm if you joined the BPS as a student member and did some networking pl talked to careers there. They will understand your intended pathway and see the significance of the course you are doing. They cna tell you straight where they think you stand and which courses might be suitable. It is possible the accreditation may come back, the BPS and the course organiser can give you insight onto that.

    You should hold fire on making any complaint until you have a sound grasp of what has happened and whetehr your grievance has any merit. It depends how the course was sold to you.

    Maybe join as a student member- talk to careers, accreditation and someone on the student committee.
    http://www.bps.org.uk/member-network...dent-committee

    They should be able to give you the guidance you need.
    I'm already a member and have already spoken to them. They said they can't say why Derby lost the accreditation, just that they were audited and weren't up to the standard. I asked how I can know if I go to another uni that the same thing won't happen and they said it's unlikely to happen twice but that there's no way of knowing. Not very reassuring.
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    (Original post by Jade199)
    Yes only that when I went to apply for the MSc they said I had to have the certificate first. The ONLY reason I'm doing the cert is to get onto the MSc.
    But that's not the only reason that anyone does the certificate. The certificate exists for other reasons, and they're unaffected by the masters losing accreditation.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    But that's not the only reason that anyone does the certificate. The certificate exists for other reasons, and they're unaffected by the masters losing accreditation.
    Maybe but that's why I did it. I presume it's on a case by case basis. Those who are unaffected will continue on. Those who are affected should be refunded.
 
 
 
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