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Uni saying i studied year 3 when i did not return to uni after deferring

Hey All,

This story may sound quite deep but after reading I'm sure you will understand why.

I am very concerned about what has happened here regarding Bournemouth University claiming I started year 3 after my deferment at the end of year 2 which is untrue.

I started Paramedic Science in Sept 2018 and passed the 1st year progressing into year 2. During year 2 the very first major covid outbreak occurred at the start of 2020 and all healthcare students were withdrawn from placement and obviously as anyone at uni at this time would know all uni's basically shut down. Not only this but my wife left me and i lost me life with her and our children which hurtled me into a severe state of grief and depression.

Now i am diagnosed with ADHD and Severe Dyslexia and studying became very difficult for me whilst we were basically forgotten about whilst covid took its toll on the country. I believe by about june we were able to return to placement and were told we had to pass a placement block to progress to year 3, however i failed 2 units because i was still seriously struggling with life and we were not taught anything whatsoever throughout nearly the whole of 2020.

Certain units were waived due to covid but as i say i failed the 5 week placement block and was told i couldn't progress into year 3 even though we had not been taught anything all year and so i decided to defer uni for a year due to my deteriorating mental health because i was still struggling with losing my wife etc and with the hope things in my life would improve.

Roll on my deferred year and to cut a long story short, i was still in a bad way so i decided not to return to uni, and officially left the course. In sept 2023 i enrolled on Computer Game Design & Development at a completely different university, and when applying for student finance realised that Bournemouth Uni had claimed ALL 3 years tuition fees from student finance England when i only expected to see 2 years of tuition fee owing. SFE agreed to pay me maintenance loan, but only 2 years tuition fee with one of them years being granted as an 'extra year' due to 'extenuating circumstances'

Bournemouth University are saying I was ‘Automatically’ enrolled into year 3 due to covid. However, the fact is that I would have only been allowed to progress to year 3 providing I completed and passed all required year 2 Level 5 units but as said I failed two year 2 units which is why I then deferred for 1 year, and ‘did not’ return to Bournemouth university after my deferment period was over due to still having mental health issues due to what had happened in my personal life and did not attend ANY year 3 units because i was told i couldn't progress to year 3.

I have tried to deal with this issue directly with Bournemouth University, however they are continuing to claim I progressed into year 3 and I don’t know what else I can do to take this matter further, to be dealt with by someone more professional as it seems I am not getting anywhere whatsoever in trying to resolve this myself. Unfortunately too, ALL correspondence was made via my BU email account which i obviously do not have access to anymore.

After the very first covid outbreak we were not taught anything throughout the whole year yet I’m still having to pay back a whole years tuition fee for not being taught anything. Is there a way I can appeal that and get that year back also otherwise I’m in debt for not being taught anything at all?

If I cannot get this sorted and all rectified I will more than likely have to leave the current degree I’m studying because i cannot afford to pay the 1st years tuition fee myself and I will be in over £80,000 of debt with absolutely nothing to show for it, and that really wouldn’t be fair when all I want is to make something of my life instead of being someone who completely failed.

Sorry for the long post, but i don't know what to do and BU are now not responding to my appeal emails so any help will be greatly appreciated and please just ask if you have any questions to clear anything up if need be.

TIA
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by MarkyGee
Hey All,

This story may sound quite deep but after reading I'm sure you will understand why.

I am very concerned about what has happened here regarding Bournemouth University claiming I started year 3 after my deferment at the end of year 2 which is untrue.

I started Paramedic Science in Sept 2018 and passed the 1st year progressing into year 2. During year 2 the very first major covid outbreak occurred at the start of 2020 and all healthcare students were withdrawn from placement and obviously as anyone at uni at this time would know all uni's basically shut down. Not only this but my wife left me and i lost me life with her and our children which hurtled me into a severe state of grief and depression.

Now i am diagnosed with ADHD and Severe Dyslexia and studying became very difficult for me whilst we were basically forgotten about whilst covid took its toll on the country. I believe by about june we were able to return to placement and were told we had to pass a placement block to progress to year 3, however i failed 2 units because i was still seriously struggling with life and we were not taught anything whatsoever throughout nearly the whole of 2020.

Certain units were waived due to covid but as i say i failed the 5 week placement block and was told i couldn't progress into year 3 even though we had not been taught anything all year and so i decided to defer uni for a year due to my deteriorating mental health because i was still struggling with losing my wife etc and with the hope things in my life would improve.

Roll on my deferred year and to cut a long story short, i was still in a bad way so i decided not to return to uni, and officially left the course. In sept 2023 i enrolled on Computer Game Design & Development at a completely different university, and when applying for student finance realised that Bournemouth Uni had claimed ALL 3 years tuition fees from student finance England when i only expected to see 2 years of tuition fee owing. SFE agreed to pay me maintenance loan, but only 2 years tuition fee with one of them years being granted as an 'extra year' due to 'extenuating circumstances'

Bournemouth University are saying I was ‘Automatically’ enrolled into year 3 due to covid. However, the fact is that I would have only been allowed to progress to year 3 providing I completed and passed all required year 2 Level 5 units but as said I failed two year 2 units which is why I then deferred for 1 year, and ‘did not’ return to Bournemouth university after my deferment period was over due to still having mental health issues due to what had happened in my personal life and did not attend ANY year 3 units because i was told i couldn't progress to year 3.

I have tried to deal with this issue directly with Bournemouth University, however they are continuing to claim I progressed into year 3 and I don’t know what else I can do to take this matter further, to be dealt with by someone more professional as it seems I am not getting anywhere whatsoever in trying to resolve this myself. Unfortunately too, ALL correspondence was made via my BU email account which i obviously do not have access to anymore.

After the very first covid outbreak we were not taught anything throughout the whole year yet I’m still having to pay back a whole years tuition fee for not being taught anything. Is there a way I can appeal that and get that year back also otherwise I’m in debt for not being taught anything at all?

If I cannot get this sorted and all rectified I will more than likely have to leave the current degree I’m studying because i cannot afford to pay the 1st years tuition fee myself and I will be in over £80,000 of debt with absolutely nothing to show for it, and that really wouldn’t be fair when all I want is to make something of my life instead of being someone who completely failed.

Sorry for the long post, but i don't know what to do and BU are now not responding to my appeal emails so any help will be greatly appreciated and please just ask if you have any questions to clear anything up if need be.

TIA

Hi there,

We can't contact the university as we need to go based on what they have advised. If you're disputing what the university have done you can contact The Office for Students for help - https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk

Thanks,
Claire
Original post by Claire SFE
Hi there,

We can't contact the university as we need to go based on what they have advised. If you're disputing what the university have done you can contact The Office for Students for help - https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk

Thanks,
Claire


Wouldn't a university falsely claiming a tuition fee loan when a student isn't attending come under SLC remit too?
I would think a formal complaint to Bournemouth might be worth a go before the OfS. They might even require you to have exhausted that route first, (I'm not certain of their procedure though.).
Reply 4
Original post by PQ
Wouldn't a university falsely claiming a tuition fee loan when a student isn't attending come under SLC remit too?

Hey thanks for your response, Could I ask what is meant by it coming under SLC Remit?
Reply 5
Original post by Admit-One
I would think a formal complaint to Bournemouth might be worth a go before the OfS. They might even require you to have exhausted that route first, (I'm not certain of their procedure though.).

I’ve emailed Bournemouth uni stating I wish to appeal what they are saying but my emails appear to be being ignored and I know they are being sent to the correct person because I had a reply to a previous email where she replied with a letter for me to give to student finance and in that letter what she says I failed on and that due to Covid all students were able to progress to level 6 with that unit outstanding, was not the unit I was told meant I couldn’t progress to year 3. It was a different unit
Reply 6
Original post by Admit-One
I would think a formal complaint to Bournemouth might be worth a go before the OfS. They might even require you to have exhausted that route first, (I'm not certain of their procedure though.).

Also which department would I send a formal complaint to at BU
Original post by MarkyGee
Also which department would I send a formal complaint to at BU

If you contact the university directly and ask them about their complaints procedure and why you haven't had a response to your appeal. If you're then unhappy with the response, you can then look at the Office for Students.

Thanks,
Claire
Original post by MarkyGee
I’ve emailed Bournemouth uni stating I wish to appeal what they are saying but my emails appear to be being ignored and I know they are being sent to the correct person because I had a reply to a previous email where she replied with a letter for me to give to student finance and in that letter what she says I failed on and that due to Covid all students were able to progress to level 6 with that unit outstanding, was not the unit I was told meant I couldn’t progress to year 3. It was a different unit


Original post by MarkyGee
Also which department would I send a formal complaint to at BU


I would follow the procedure on the following page. They seem to use 'appeal' and 'complaint' a bit interchangeably, so you may already have done this. If so, it's the OfS next as above.

https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/students/help-advice/looking-support/making-complaint
Reply 9
Original post by Claire SFE
If you contact the university directly and ask them about their complaints procedure and why you haven't had a response to your appeal. If you're then unhappy with the response, you can then look at the Office for Students.

Thanks,
Claire

ok thankyou
Reply 10
Original post by Admit-One
I would follow the procedure on the following page. They seem to use 'appeal' and 'complaint' a bit interchangeably, so you may already have done this. If so, it's the OfS next as above.

https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/students/help-advice/looking-support/making-complaint

awesome thankyou
Original post by MarkyGee
Hey thanks for your response, Could I ask what is meant by it coming under SLC Remit?


Student Loan Company (SLC) administer loan payments to universities for Student Finance England (SFE)
from the recent National Audit Office report into student loan fraud at franchised providers https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/investigation-into-student-finance-for-study-at-franchised-higher-education-providers.pdf
16 GIAA identified weaknesses in the control framework. GIAA highlighted the
complexity of the system for gaining assurance over the legitimacy of funding claims
and concluded that neither SLC nor OfS has a formal fraud enforcement role. SLC
can act on suspicions of fraudulent applications in respect of individuals, but at a
provider or system level it does not currently regulate, launch investigations, request
additional data, or apply sanctions. The current regulatory framework does not
require OfS to act to prevent or address student loan fraud, but OfS does have a
regulatory interest in the management and governance arrangements of registered
providers. This means that OfS has powers to tackle some provider behaviour that
may indirectly relate to misuse of SLC funding, but these powers do not directly
relate to tackling fraud. DfE has overall responsibility for system oversight, roles and
responsibilities (paragraphs 2.24 and 2.25, and Figure 12)



So it's not OfS either.
I'd recommend a formal complaint but also copying in your MP given that it looks like it's the DfE who holds ultimate responsibility here
Reply 13
Thanks everyone for your advice. Could I also ask do I have any grounds to claim back the money owed for tuition fees for the year Covid struck as I’ve heard that the money owed for that year can/will be written off because we basically did nothing all year due to the Covid outbreak
Original post by MarkyGee
Thanks everyone for your advice. Could I also ask do I have any grounds to claim back the money owed for tuition fees for the year Covid struck as I’ve heard that the money owed for that year can/will be written off because we basically did nothing all year due to the Covid outbreak

Hi,

That would also be discussed by yourself and the university. If they confirmed they would cancel the Tuition Fees for that Academic Year you would need to request them to return the fees. Thanks, Ross

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