Student Protection Plan for the period 2018/2019



a) The risk a decision is taken by the School to close the School;

Risk

Here the risk is low because of the solid financial strategic plan LBMS has, please refer to the financial table. The annual gross turnover will be increasing year on year; gross turnover for the year ending 2019 is carefully estimated to be £23,100, with student finance approval it will increase to £230,500 in year ending 2020, £439,000 in year 2021, £504,500 in year 2022 and £622,000 in year 2023.

School aims to achieve sustainability in year 2020, the cash at bank, which has been carefully estimated will increase to £102,105 and then in year 2021 it will go up to £227,926, which will be the year of growth and it will continue to grow in year 2022 and cash at bank is estimated to reach £352,426 and in year 2023 it should increase up to £434,086.

Mitigation

LBMS will continue to monitor the likelihood of institutional failure through its risk management in accordance with HE regulatory bodies and any instances of this will be managed in accordance with LBMS policies.

b) The risk that a strategic decision has been taken by the School to close a course;

Risk

Here the risk is very low because LBMS runs a strategically limited number of courses based on local requirements and student interests in HNC/HND Business Management. LBMS is also in the process of securing top-up degree programmes to support the current HNC/HND’s with the aim to progress the retention rates.

Mitigation

In the event of such an event LBMS will follow the “Course change, suspension and Closure procedures” which states: “Closing a course means that there are no further intakes to the course and it will no longer be offered by LBMS. Those students already registered on the course will continue to progress and complete the course (teach out), or where this is not possible be offered an alternative course or transfer to another provider”

The process is as follows:

Stage One: Approval for Course Closure

  • In the first instance the Academic Board must make an assessment of the rationale for, and impact of, a proposed course closure, and ensure discussion with relevant committees.
  • The Principal must complete the ‘Request for Closure, Suspension or Substantial Change of Courses’ form and submit to the Senior Management Team.
  • Once agreement has been reached by the Senior Management Team thatthe course may close, the Principal will formally notify the appropriate departments. The course will be removed from the LBMS’s webpages.

Stage Two: Managing Course Closure

The action plan must cover:

  • LBMS must take full account of the needs of existing students (including those who have withdrawn temporarily), and applicants to the course (including those who have deferred offers), ensuring that quality and academic standards are maintained.
  • In the event that it appears impossible to ‘teach out’ the course, and alternative arrangements need to be considered, the Academic Committee must consult with the SMTin the first instance.
  • LBMS must also give full consideration to how applicants will be supported in making a decision about an alternative course or releasing their place and their contract with LBMS.

Stage Three: Communication

  • Quality Manager will meet with current students to inform them of the course closure and arrangements for teaching out the course. Students should be informed of how LBMS intends to ensure the quality of the student experience, how matters such as reassessment, temporary withdrawal etc will be handled. Students must be provided with opportunities to raise queries and concerns.
  • Quality Manager is responsible for communicating with all applicants and with temporarily withdrawn students. The Quality Manager is responsible for informing external examiners of course closure.
  • The I.T Manager will ensure that LBMS website reflects the status of the course closure.

c) The risk of a loss or restriction of School status;

Here the risk is low because all external inspections from Pearson over the past two years have shown a high degree of compliance across all areas of LBMS activity.

d) The risk of withdrawal of course designation for student support purposes;

Risk

Here the risk overall is low. All external inspections by LBMS’s awarding body Pearson over the past two years have been extremely positive citing of areas of good practice and no major action points.

Mitigation

LBMS’s senior management team will continue to monitor all of its activities in line with its policies and procedures, but in the event of de-designation of its courses for “student support” purposes resulting in the withdrawalof student finance, LBMS will take all responsible steps to minimise the resultant disruption to students by:

  • Working with the relevant funding bodies to allow enrolled students to complete their year of study
  • Where this is not possible, supporting students to transfer to appropriate programmes of other providers and, where appropriate, financially compensate students where they suffer demonstrable, material financial loss because of the disruption of their studies
  • Merging with another institution to maintain all or part of the current provision.

e) The risk that the School has taken a decision not to run a course for the subsequent year;

Risk

Here the risk is low, at present all courses run at LBMS are of maximum 2 years duration.  Programmes are designed, funded and resourced over this two year period.  If for whatever reason LBMS decided not to run a course it would ensure that current cohorts were taken to completion, while not recruiting for further cohorts.

Mitigation

For mitigation see mitigation section B above.

f) The risk that there is a major change in course content;

Risk

Here the risk is low, for despite the possibility of major changes in course content, LBMS believes it has the resources in place to assimilate seamlessly to the new required content.

Mitigation

LBMS has sufficient staffing resources with the requisite knowledge to cover any changes that may occur in the course content.  In addition, LBMS retains sessional lecturers who are able to increase their commitment to LBMS timetable in the event that two versions of the same course need to be delivered.

g) The risk that changes to regulatory framework affects a specific course;

Risk

Here the risk is low, LBMS has a robust company and academic governance and management systems that are able to react quickly and efficiently to changes in the regulatory framework as indicated in point f above.

Mitigation

For mitigation see mitigation section F above.

h) The risk of a loss of accreditation from regulatory bodies;

Risk

Here the risk is low, as annual monitoring reviews have all consistently shown full compliance with regulatory requirements in all aspects of the LBMS’s activities.

Mitigation

LBMS’s senior management team will continue to monitor all of its activities in line with its policies and procedures, but in the event of a lossof accreditation from regulatory bodies, LBMS will take all responsible steps to minimise the resultant disruption to students by:

  • Offering affected students the chance to move to another appropriate course
  • Deliver a modified version of the same course
  • Where this is not possible, supporting students to transfer to appropriate programmes of other providers who hold the relevant accreditation and, where appropriate, financially compensate students where they suffer demonstrable, material financial loss because of the disruption of their studies

i) The risk of industrial action by School staff;

Risk

Here the risk is low, LBMS maintains a strong, positive working relationship with its staff. LBMS’s Senior managers are described by students as “approachable and down to earth”. LBMS has developed an ‘open door’policy, and this is helping people work together and ensure that there are good relationships amongst managers and staff”.

Mitigation

LBMS has established frameworks for consultation and negotiation and is highly committed to maintaining an effective employee relations culture and working with colleagues to achieve reasonable solutions to matters that may arise from time to time.

Where industrial action does occur, the LBMS will seek to:

  • Ensure the normal operations and services are maintained as far as possible
  • Take all reasonable steps to fulfil responsibilities to students in ensuring that any disruption is minimised and students are not, as far as possible to determine, disadvantaged by the action. This may include arranging additional lectures and or tutorials.

j) The risk of an unanticipated departure of key members of School staff;

Risk

Here risk is low, LBMS structure is based on key roles and supported by a comprehensive senior management system, ensuring every role is transferrable in part or whole to other members of staff over the short tomedium term until a suitable replacement can be found.

Mitigation

  • LBMS will seek to fill staffing gaps as quickly as possible, by moving other current members of staff with appropriate skills and experience into the vacant post, or recruiting externally to avoid disruption
  • Where LBMS cannot avoid closing a programme, the policy as outlined in section B above will apply.

k) The risk of a disruption of School activities (e.g. temporary disruption within term time not covered by any of the above);

Risk

Here overall risk is moderate and covers such events, but not limited to, acts of terrorism, damage to building or equipment, loss of amenities and acts of god.

Mitigation

The LBMS Business Continuity Plan covers other actions affecting business continuity:

The objective of the Business Continuity Plan document is to co-ordinate the response of all departments within LBMS during a major incident and to ensure business critical functions are reinstated as soon as possible following an emergency, while full restoration of all services is planned and implemented on a concurrent basis.

‘A major incident may occur at any time and cause significant loss with prolonged interruption to the business of LBMS. This procedure sets out a series of responsive measures aimed at:

  • Preventing or limiting the loss of life or injury
  • Safeguarding all students, staff and others on LBMS site
  • Minimising or limiting the damage to buildings and assets
  • Returning to full operational activities as soon as possible

The objective of this document is to co-ordinate the response of all departments within LBMS in the event of a major incident and to ensure business critical functions are reinstated as soon as possible, while full restoration of all services is planned and implemented on a concurrent basis.

The decision to implement the Business Continuity Plan must be made by the Principal or another member of the LBMS Senior Management Team (SMT).The plan sets out guidelines to enable LBMS staff to respond quickly and cope effectively with the situation. The Business Continuity Plan will be implemented either in whole or in part depending upon the severity of the incident.

TUITION FEE & REFUND POLICY

1: INTRODUCTION

This Policy document sets out the fundamental tuition fee charging principles of LBMS. It explains ways in which students can settle tuition fees, how tuition fees are recalculated following changes in students’ circumstances and how LBMS refunds students. The document also indicates the consequences of non-payment of tuition fees and the appeals process that can be followed.

2: RESPONSIBILITY

The Principal is responsible for the policy and reports to the Academic Board on matters concerning fees, fee refunds or recovery of fees.

3: TUITION FEE PRINCIPLES

3.1 LBMS annually charges fees for its programmes of study.

3.2 The course tuition fees are charged at a set annual rate and are not calculated in respect of the number of credits being studied, unless students are repeating units or qualify as a new entrant on a full-time course with recognised prior learning.

3.3 Students will pay the fee regime in force at their initial enrolment on the course, subject to annual increases.

3.4 Tuition fees and related information is published on the LBMS website.

3.5 Students retain ultimate liability for the payment of their fees, whether invoiced or not, including where sponsorship agreements have been approved.

3.6 LBMS reserves the right to exclude any students who fail to pay their tuition fees, or make satisfactory arrangements to pay on or by a set period after the start date of their course. Furthermore, LBMS reserves the right to prevent students from participating in graduation ceremonies if tuition fee and non-tuition fee related debts are due.

3.7 Full-time undergraduate courses charge additional costs for items such as field trips, materials and awarding organisation registration fees.

3.8 All students registering for a period of repeat study are liable to pay a tuition fee based on the number of credits being repeated.

4.PAYMENTS

4.1 The LBMS tuition fees are due at the start of each academic year (or the start of each registration period for non-standard start dates). LBMS accepts a range of payment methods including cash, cheque and bank transfer that must be cleared before the start of the course.

4.2 The students receiving sponsorship or student loans will be responsible for their fee. The student must provide the fee approval documents to LBMS at the time of registration.

4.3 Any fee payment refused subsequently by sponsors or student finance will be the student liability.

4.4 Students failing to pay their tuition fees in full as detailed, or failing to pay any instalment by the relevant date, will be subject to further action. Normally LBMS will forward those files to debit collectors to act accordingly.

5. WITHDRAWAL AND REFUND

5.1 Students have the right to withdraw from a programme of study and there are academic regulations relating to withdrawal.

5.2 LBMS refunds tuition fee payments to students and sponsors based on ‘liability periods’ and the annual fee charged.

5.3 LBMS will ensure that any fees received from the Student Loans Company will be refunded in the event that a student fails to honour his/her commitment to the conditions under which funding was obtained.

5.4 In the event that LBMS has granted a bursary, LBMS will ensure that that bursary is honoured in full.

5.5 In the unlikely event that LBMS is unable to deliver a course or unable to complete delivery of a course and alternative provision needs to be provided at another similar college, LBMS will ensure that financial support is available for:

  • payment of reasonable additional travel costs for students affected by a change in the location of the course.
  • payment of reasonable maintenance costs and lost time where it is not possible to preserve continuation of study at LBMS.
  • payment of compensation for tuition and maintenance costs where students have to transfer course to an alternative provider.

5.6 Students who are late in starting their course will not be entitled to any refund, or reduction in tuition fees; this also applies where students have been absent from class for a period of time and where they may not have been attending all the subjects on which they have been enrolled.

5.7 All students who withdraw before the start of the course year may be eligible for a full refund of any tuition fee paid for that year, providing that prior to the commencement of the course written notification has been received by LBMS.

5.8 All students will be liable for annual tuition fees as follows:

  • Students who withdraw from the course within the first two weeks of the start date of the academic programme will receive a full refund. This is dependent upon completion of the withdrawal form being received by LBMS. The last date of attendance will be the date LBMS is notified of the student’s withdrawal by the student’s completion of the withdrawal form.
  • Students who withdraw before the end of their ‘first liability period’, this being the first teaching block, will be liable for 25% of the annual tuition fee. This is dependent upon completion of a withdrawal form being received by LBMS.
  • LBMS is notified of the student’s withdrawal by the student’s completion of the withdrawal form. The notification must be received prior to the commencement of the second liability period, this being the second teaching block, in order to incur no further financial liability.
  • Students who withdraw during the ‘second liability period’ will be liable for 50% of the annual tuition fee. This is dependent upon completion of a withdrawal form being received by LBMS. The date of last attendance will be the date LBMS is notified of the student’s withdrawal by the student’s completion of the withdrawal form. The notification must be received prior to the commencement of the ‘third liability period’ in order to incur no further financial liability.

5.9 The full year’s fees will be liable by students who withdraw during the ‘third liability period’.

5.10 If supported documents provided with application are found not to be genuine, admission will be cancelled immediately and any fees paid will not be refunded.

5.11 LBMS reserves the right not to run a particular course due to unavoidable circumstances and to transfer students to an alternative course, otherwise the fee paid will be refunded.

6. SUSPENSION AND TRANSFER

6.1 Students can suspend their studies with the agreement of LBMS Academic Assessment Board.

6.2 LBMS will recalculate students’ tuition fees when they transfer course in the same mode of study or suspend from their programme of studies, based on the liability periods and annual fee charged.  Tuition fees are not recalculated when students’ suspend from a unit, or units, of studies.

6.3 For UK and EU students who have been assessed for national student support and suspend their studies, or transfer to another UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) and their tuition fee is being paid by tuition fee loan or grant, either in part or in total, refunds or transfer of fees will be administered according to Government and SLC guidelines .

7. FEE APPEALS

Individual officers of LBMS are not permitted to vary or waive fees. When extenuating circumstances warrant an investigation into the amount of fee charged according to the current fee policy, a student or sponsor should submit an appeal by email or writing to the Principal. The appeal will be acknowledged and considered within ten working days of receipt under normal circumstances.  An investigation will be performed to collate information from all interested parties and will be considered by an impartial panel.

Recommendations to uphold or reject the appeal will be made by the panel and confirmed in writing.

LBMS will have cash reserves in excess of £100,000, which would be sufficient to provide refunds and compensation for all students whom we have identified as possibly being at risk in the event of non-continuation of study. This will be reserved from the first fee instalment from SLC.

LBMS will continue to carry out further, regular risk assessments in order to ensure that reserves are sufficient to maintain all future refunds and compensation for any students at risk of non-continuation of study.

In the event that those risk assessments show that there is a danger of reserves being insufficient, LBMSwill put in place insurance arrangements to provide the necessary funds.

  1. How the School will communicate with students about the Student Protection Plan

The Plan will be introduced to current students through the Student/Staff Support and Student representatives will be asked to convey the information to all current groups with specific student feedback on the subject carried out.

For future students the Plan will be introduced during induction and once again feedback collected.

LBMS will also ensure that all staff are aware of the Student Protection Plan through specific training which is listed on the LBMS CPD Calendar.  The training will ensure that all staff are aware of the implications when course changes are proposed by Heads of Department or Academic Assessment Committee.

Student feedback from all sources will be analysed and the results included in the next Academic Assessment Committee meeting for consideration.  Changes made to the Student Protection Plan as a result of the student feedback will be confirmed to all students through the meetings.  The Student Protection Plan will be reviewed on an annual basis.

In the event that the Student Protection Plan needs to be implemented, LBMS will immediately identify those students affected by the material changes and will inform all those students of the changes and implications of those changes by e-mail.

The e-mail will also identify meeting times for each cohort where the changes will be fully explained by the Principal and Quality Assurance Manager. Students will be required to reply to this e-mail in order to confirm they have received the information.  Any student affected who does not reply to the e-mail will be contacted by phone.

In all cases where practically possible students will be given at least one semesters notice to any material changes to their course, for example in the instance of cancellation of course, change od units or change of location of course.

In cases where this is not possible, all students affected will be informed as soon as LBMS is aware of such material changes.

If LBMS needs to implement the measures in our Student Protection Plan we will ensure that:

  • every student collectively and individually is made fully aware of all the implications of the material changes
  • every student collectively and individually is informed of the alternative options available
  • every student collectively and individually is given the support and information enabling them to select an alternative option
  • every student collectively and individually is given the opportunity to select the most appropriate alternative option
  • LBMS will then support every student collectively and individually to pursue that option both physically and financially according to the Student Protection Plan

Should LBMS need to implement the Student Protection Plan LBMS will ensure that independent advice is available to students regarding the alternative options available.

This will include direct access to:

  • advisors at alternative providers
  • independent legal advice
  • independent financial advice

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8538 0198
Email: admin@londonbms.com


Address:
London Business and Management School
Vista Business Centre,
50 Salisbury Road, Hounslow,
Middlesex TW4 6JQ
London, UK



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