Refunds and Compensation Policy
This Policy should be read along with the KLC Student Protection Plan and the KLC Terms and Conditions, which are available on our website. Where we have used a defined term in in this Policy, if you don’t see a definition here or in the Plan then you will be able to find the definition in the Terms and Conditions. For example, you will see the School being referred to in this document, which is defined in the Terms and Conditions as meaning KLC School of Design.
The School was established 35 years ago and has a track record of audited financial statements with a strong liquid balance sheet and a consistently healthy cash balance. Robust controls are in place to monitor expenditure and manage cash flow on a monthly basis. In addition, the School has no overdraft, loans or debts. The School should therefore be in a position to meet compensation when it is deemed appropriate in accordance with this Policy.
All refunds and compensation have to be approved by the School’s Executive Board.
When a student is no longer able to complete their original course of study as a result of the scenario as set out in the KLC Student Protection Plan, the first option that the School would consider would be the internal transfer of affected students to an alternative Course or study method. This way a student can achieve the same level qualification through a different Course or by an alternative study method, as the majority of our Courses have both an on-site and online option.
In these circumstances, when the Course being transferred onto by the student is a cheaper price than the original Course enrolled on, the School would refund the difference in price between the two study methods pro ratafrom the point at which the student transfers. When the Course being transferred onto by the student is more expensive than the original Course enrolled on, then the School would waive this additional cost.
When the KLC Student Protection Plan is activated and internal transfer is not suitable, the School will generally refund all Fees paid for the current level of the affected Course (so, for instance, the School would refund all Course Fees paid for Level 5 of the Foundation Degree if it was cancelled at this stage of a student’s studies, but students would not be refunded for Level 4 if this had been successfully completed). Where appropriate, the School will also consider financially compensating students where they suffer demonstrable, material financial loss (see information on compensation below). This would happen in the following circumstances:-
- A Course changes beyond recognition of the one originally offered whilst a student is currently studying on it or happens less than 8 weeks prior to the Course start date (or less than 4 weeks prior to the course start date for Courses that are 10 weeks or less in duration).
- A Course is cancelled before a student starts their studies.
- A Course is cancelled whilst a student is studying on it.
- The School loses its Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and as a result an international student is unable to obtain a study visa or loses their study visa whilst studying a Course.
- The School loses its University of Brighton validation and is unable to secure either an alternative validating partner or its own degree awarding powers.
- The School has to permanently close and is unable to teach out current students.
There are some exceptions where the School will refund the Fees paid pro ratato the amount of time a student has studied. For example, if a student has studied 1 term of a 3-term Course and the KLC Student Protection Plan has been activated, then the School would refund two-thirds of the total Course Fees paid. This way a student will only pay for the actual time that they have studied at the School. The School will also consider financially compensating students where they suffer demonstrable, material financial loss because of disruption to their studies (see information on compensation below). This might occur in the following circumstances:-
- The School has to find alternative premises due to extreme disruption and the new premises are unsuitable for a student due to particular individual circumstances or the School could not find appropriate alternative premises for a period of longer than 2 weeks from the date that the extreme disruption occurred.
- The School loses its Office for Students designation and as a result students requiring funding have to transfer to an alternative provider
There may be circumstances where the School decides to cancel or withdraw a student’s place on a Course e.g. due to a student’s behaviour. In that case all fees will remain payable as set out in clause 6 of the KLC Terms and Conditions.
If a student withdraws from a Course prior to a Course start date and subject to the relevant provisions of the KLC Terms and Conditions (particularly clause 6) e.g. with regards to the notice period required, the School will refund any fees paid less the Enrolment Fee and subject to any Additional Charges.
If a student chooses to withdraw from a Course within the Cancellation Period, a refund will be available unless part or all of a Course has been supplied or performed or digital content has been delivered or accessed, in accordance with clause 6 of the KLC Terms and Conditions.
If a student chooses to request a deferral or an Intermission due to exceptional circumstances in accordance with clause 6 of the KLC Terms and Conditions, all fees will remain payable. However, where such deferral or Intermission is due to certain exceptional circumstances including serious personal or family illness, or bereavement, as further set out in the KLC Terms and Conditions, the School will offer support through its Student Welfare team and will consider additional ways to enable a student to complete their studies e.g. through an alternative study method or intermitting to a future course date.
The KLC Terms and Conditions strongly advise all students to take out insurance against loss of fees due to accident or illness (see clause 5). It is a student’s responsibility to notify the School of any pre-existing medical conditions during a student’s application to a Course.
Where a student has suffered extreme personal hardship and is able to submit evidence to that effect, the Executive Board will consider whether an exception should be allowed to the KLC Terms and Conditions. The School reserves the right to refund any Fees paid for study time not actually undertaken, but this is undertaken on a case by case basis and is entirely at the discretion of the Executive Board.
Compensation will only be made for circumstances that are as a direct result of situations set out in the KLC Student Protection Plan and students must evidence that they have suffered material financial loss as a direct consequence of a situation in the Plan.
Compensation will not generally be provided to students studying Courses that are 10 weeks or less in duration, as the impact on them is not likely to be as significant, however, the School will consider exceptional circumstances (and any evidence as required).
In reviewing compensation, the School will always take into account individual circumstances and will particularly look at the impact on any family and caring responsibilities. It will also look at whether a student is studying on-site at Chelsea Harbour or through an online Course and therefore what the relevant impact is to each individual student.
The level of compensation offered will normally be benchmarked against decisions made by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (http://www.oiahe.org.uk/), although where payable, compensation will be agreed with students through an arbitration process and this will normally include the presence of a student (usually a student representative) in the relevant meeting(s).
The School strongly advises all students to insure their travel arrangements (flights, trains and hotel bookings) against cancellation, as the School cannot offer compensation for the actual cost of travel or hotel bookings incurred.
However, where circumstances set out in the KLC Student Protection Plan have occurred and, as a result, a student is studying at a new location or with an alternative provider, the School will look at the student’s new journey to the venue of the Course and take into account both additional mileage and increased travel time, as well as the student’s evidence of material additional expenditure, when looking at any possible financial compensation.
Where an international student has applied for a study visa to come to the School and the School has subsequently lost its Tier 4 Sponsor Licence, then the student would be reimbursed the cost of the study visa application so that they can re-apply elsewhere if necessary. See clause 6 of the KLC Terms and Conditions or the KLC Student Protection Plan for further details.
The School would generally not pay compensation if it lost its validation from the University of Brighton and had secured other means of validation so that the School’s qualifications were still benchmarked in the same way against the Qualifications and Credit Framework.