Harrowing times

July 12, 1996

Students pay towards their higher education and want value for money. THES reporters look at the university appeals system and what happens when degree courses are not all they were advertised to be. Students are threatening double legal trouble for Westminster University amid protests over course disruption and cuts.

The student union has claimed that some 200 students are considering suing the university for financial loss because of extra course work they are having to do to compensate for disruption caused by a Pounds 33 million building project at the Harrow campus. They are set to apply for legal aid.

The students say that, while the decision by the university to lay on additional practical sessions and extend work deadlines is adequate academic compensation, it means that students will be losing income from part-time jobs. They are also said to be incurring additional travel and childcare costs.

Liz Allen, president of the Westminster student union, said: "The university has done its best to make amends but these students have been badly affected and although they can compensate academically this is simply not good enough."

Westminster's rector Geoff Copland said: "We have already compensated some students during this academic year but I have asked the student union to go away and come back with specific cases as I am not prepared to write a blank cheque."

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