We welcomed the opportunity to write to the Scottish Parliament’s Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee regarding Petition 2000: Ensure universities are held accountable to students under consumer law.
Our response highlights our belief that the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) offers an effective route for complaints-handling in cases where a resolution has not first been possible at institution level. We see no basis for an expanded remit or new body in Scotland. Current consumer protection law, discussed further below, applies to the relationship between HE providers across the UK and prospective and current students. It is important to note that a student’s status and therefore their rights as a consumer are not defined by whether a fee for the education is applied.