Is the student a consumer?


What can a student reasonably expect to receive as a ‘customer’ of a higher education provider?

On 22 October 2013,  the Office of Fair Trading launched ‘a call for information on the provision of undergraduate higher education in England by universities and other institutions’.

The Office of Fair Trading, established under the Fair Trading Act 1973, is a department of Government not headed by a minister. The responsibility of the OFT  is to enforce competition law and protections for consumers, so it approaches this survey from the presumed point of view of the student as a ‘consumer’ and the presumption that universities and other higher education providers are ‘trading’ as ‘competitors’.

The Report based on this research was published on 14 March 2014.

Questions arising

What can a student buy as a ‘consumer’?

Why can’t a student buy an automatic qualification with the course?

 Blog posts:

The Competition and Markets Authority and the Student

Office of Fair Trading and ‘Unfair Terms’

Should complaints always lead to ‘redress’?