You can now sue your university if you think they’ve graded you unfairly
I’ll see you in court
Students will now have the power to sue their university if they feel dissatisfied with their tuition.
As part of government plans to reform the education sector and extend consumer rights contracts are now being offered to students promising them value for money, predicted contact hours, assessment and feedback.
Tuition fees have now risen to £9,250 for most degree courses, with universities responding to inflation and the new teaching excellence rankings.
The universities minister, Jo Johnson, has said he will ask the Office for Students (OfS) to introduce contracts to give students more consumer rights and protection over the education they pay for.
Vague contracts are already in place in some universities, however they do not outline what students can expect from in terms of tuition and care. These contracts are to be reassessed and introduced across all higher education institutions as a requirement, enabling students to take action.
Mr Johnson said: "Clearly it is in the nature of a contract that someone who feels that the benefits promised in the contract are not getting delivered would have some form of redress.
"The consultation options that we will be publishing in the course of time will see what those options will consist of, but legal remedies are certainly not excluded."
Sarah Stevens, head of policy at the Russell Group of universities, said: "Students are right to expect their university to provide a high quality learning experience and our members take their responsibilities in this area very seriously.
"Many Russell Group universities have developed charters in partnership with student unions which outline the roles, responsibilities and expectation for students of their university and vice versa. We need a system that protects students but is also fair to universities."
The president of Universities UK, Dame Julia Goodfellow, said: "All universities have contracts with their students. The sector has been responding to advice of the Competition and Markets Authority to ensure that these are fair and transparent. Students also have avenues of redress both through internal university processes and via the independent adjudicator for higher education for higher education and, ultimately, through the courts.
"It is important that promises made to students are kept and Universities UK will continue to work with the government and Office for Students to ensure that this is the case."