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Consumer Rights for Our Students

The EKC Group is required under Consumer Market Authority Legislation (CMA) to ensure that the information we provide to you is accurate, easily accessible and covers what is necessary for you to make informed choice.

Our promises to you

  • Before you submit your application we will ensure we provide information about programmes of study, including their structure and tuition fees.
  • If there are any additional course expenses we will make sure you are aware prior to any contract, especially any costs that are likely to impact on academic success.
  • Should there be an increase in tuition fees, we will esure you are informed and provided with clear reasons for this increase.
  • If you are offered a place at the College we will ensure all contractual terms are readily availble before you decide to accept our offer.

Full guidance for students can be found here.

Our Policies

All of our policies can be found here.

Office of the Independent Adjudiciator

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) runs an independent scheme to review student complaints. EKC Group is a member of this scheme. If you are unhappy with the outcome you may be able to ask the OIA to review your complaint, appeal or disciplinary case. You can find more information about making a complaint to the OIA, what it can and can’t look at and what it can do to put things right here: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/students.

You normally need to have completed the Complaints Procedure or the Students Disciplinary Procedure before you complain to the OIA.  We will send you a letter called a “Completion of Procedures Letter” when you have reached the end of our processes and there are no further steps you can take internally. If your appeal or complaint is not upheld, EKC Group will issue you with a Completion of Procedures Letter automatically. If your appeal or complaint is upheld or partly upheld you can ask for a Completion of Procedures Letter if you want one. You can find more information about Completion of Procedures Letters and when you should expect to receive one here: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/providers/completion-of-procedures-letters.

 

Access & Participation Statement 2022/23

Introduction

EKC Group is committed to providing an environment for students that actively provides equality of opportunity, freedom from discrimination and values the diversity of all students and prospective students.  EKC Group seeks to broaden the pool of potential applicants by raising awareness and expectations in line with its commitment to widening participation.  EKC Group has approximately 15,000 students in total with c. 200 higher education students across three of its colleges. 

EKC Group aims to place their applicants on appropriate courses with the support necessary for them to succeed.  The admissions process will encompass a range of services, from the provision of information about programmes and services, through to the point of enrolment and beyond. Statements regarding Information, Access and Guidance are in accordance with EKC Group’s Student Charter commitments.

This policy applies to applicants and potential applicants to the EKC Group accredited higher education programmes of study and is complementary to the Admissions Policies of EKC Group’s validating bodies and university partner.  It is intended that the policy should uphold the principles outlined in the Schwartz Report on Fair Admissions (2004)[1], Office for Students[2] compliance with ongoing condition for registration A2, and the Quality Assurance Agency’s (QAA) UK Quality Code[3] .  

The Higher Education Quality Improvement Plan (HE QIP) links the strategic aims with policies and the QAA Quality Code, thereby taking deliberate steps to embed enhancement, throughout the student experience.   

This policy does not apply to a Higher Apprenticeships. Information on the admissions process for Higher Apprenticeship programmes will be provided on request by the WorkHigher Business Development Team (Workhigherbusinessdevelopmentteam@eastkentcollege.ac.uk).

Widening Participation

EKC Group highly values the diversity and range of experience that prospective students contribute to college life.  Applications are welcome from all students irrespective of background.  Recruitment and admissions processes aim to match the abilities, aptitude, and aspirations of the student to their programme of study.  EKC Group’s offer of Access programmes for mature students helps to increase confidence in academic study, in preparation for higher education.  EKC Group is committed to recruitment and admissions processes, which are fair, explicit, and implemented consistently across its range of provision.  

There are barriers for some students considering entering into higher education for example, if they are disabled, a mature student without traditional qualifications, come from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) background or grew up in care.  Other barriers may include being the first in the family to enter higher education or finding the cost of study prohibitive.  EKC Group is part of the Kent and Medway National Collaborative Outreach Programme (KaMCOP) which supports progression from students in disadvantaged wards.  

The EKC Group is committed to widening participation and has four dedicated HE KaMCOP Officers. As part of the Kent and Medway National Collaborative Outreach Programme the Group has identified students within its further education courses who have the potential to progress to higher education (based on their GCSE grades) who live in areas where there is generally low progression into HE. A programme has been developed to run complementary to the students’ core curriculum, delivered by KaMCOP staff which will target these students with the aim to raise their aspirations and build their confidence to apply to higher education courses with EKC Group or elsewhere. The HE KaMCOP Officers also liaise with Progression Officers at local schools and internal Level 3 students to offer HE taster workshops, Open Days, information sessions, and skills workshops to inspire students to progress to higher education.

Close links with local universities enable students to attend university taster days and liaise with partnership development teams, enabling staff and students to access information and awareness around HE options.

EKC Group measures student satisfaction, progress, participation, and performance through student questionnaires; programme feedback; involvement with the HE Group; student representative, and student voice meetings; through an over-arching HE annual self-assessment programme monitoring report and regular reports to the EKC Group Governors and Principal.  

Tuition Fees and Student Support

Tuition fees are remaining at £6,000 (part time courses £3,000) for the 2022/23 academic year which is significantly lower than local universities.  Tuition fees will be reviewed ahead of the 2023/24 academic year with information to follow. In 2021-2022, 20 Bursaries of £500 were offered to students whose income was below £25,000, and upon a successful application, these students are paid in instalments the total award, over the course of the academic year.  Students on franchised programmes with the University of Kent can apply for support through the University of Kent Access to Learning Fund. 

There is a specific HE Induction to support students transitioning into higher education which includes study skills, time management, e-resources, health & safety, PREVENT, safeguarding, HE support services, and programme of study.  A dedicated HE librarian is available at Canterbury College to provide one-on-one and group support in accessing on-line learning resources and understanding the Harvard Referencing system (all HE students can access this support, not just those based at Canterbury).  The Wellbeing Centres offers access to additional learning support, student counselling, and helps support students with a range of issues, including emotional, family, financial or health related. There is a dedicated HE Student Services staff member who acts a liaison between the college and the HE department to help students identify internal and external support available.

Provision of Information for Students

Information and advice about programmes and entry requirements will be provided on the EKC Group website, with further information available from tutors on request if required.  Every care is taken to ensure that the information contained in the Group’s publications (both paper and on-line) is accurate at the time of publication.  However, in response to changing circumstances, the Group reserves the right to cancel, change the entry criteria for, or alter, the content of any programme.  Where this is necessary, applicants will be advised at the earliest opportunity.

The Student Support and Careers teams provide information, advice and guidance on all aspects of applications, programmes and funding and guide students to further support when required.  The teams actively engage with Level 3 progression, both internally and in schools  external to EKC Group.  

Additional Learning Support Needs

Disability Support Allowance (DSA) is a student-initiated process as part of the applicant’s Student Finance application. DSA is awarded and allocated by external providers to support the individual student’s needs.  In addition, at enrolment, students have the opportunity to declare that they may require additional support when completing their learning agreement as part of the compulsory registration process.  All students who apply to EKC Group and declare a learning need and/or physical disability are referred to a member of the Additional Learning Support Team, who will contact potential students at that point to identify any support required.  DSA students can be supported in completing their Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) application by the Additional Learning Support Team as well.

Once a DSA application is processed, an assessment completed, and an award made, the applicant will receive a report listing equipment and other support they can be provided with on their course.

If students are awarded DSA, they may be assisted with the costs of:

Specialist equipment, for example a computer if needed because of disability

Non-medical helpers

Extra travel because of disability

Other disability-related costs of studying

They will need to pay the first £200 of any computer purchased to help with their study.

More information regarding the DSA process and application can be found here: 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEd...

Student Success – equality, ethnicity, retention and progression

EKC Group is committed to equality and diversity throughout all aspects of college life, and respects differences in race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, and gender re-assignment. EKC Group also actively supports students that face barriers because of social and financial hardship. The three-year Equality Action Plan provides a framework for continuing action in creating an environment where all individuals will be able to achieve their full potential.  

EKC Group is committed to supporting students with a range of needs and abilities. Students with a variety of disabilities pursue courses at all levels within the colleges and are shown to have broadly parallel progression rates to students without disabilities.  EKC Group has to make courses and facilities accessible to all students and provide a variety of services, including advocacy for students. 

Feedback from students is central to support our diverse group of students, some who have non-traditional entry qualifications compared to universities and other higher education institutions.  Feedback from the HE mid-term and end of year survey, unit/module evaluations, student voice meetings and the student representatives’ meetings are used to improve student experience.  

Data will be sourced from student learning agreements and disseminated to identify diversity within student groups including information on race, gender, age, disability, and previous qualifications.  Retention is carefully and continuously monitored throughout the year to identify and offer further support to students where required.  Small class sizes provide strong pastoral support for students and there are regular tutorials offered in both groups and on an individual basis. Destination data is obtained from the Graduate Outcomes surveys.

[1] Fair admissions to higher education: recommendations for good practice – The Schwartz Report, September 2004

[2] https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/

[3] https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code

Our Student Protection Plan

Every higher education institution is required to set out a student protection plan in the event of a course, campus, or institution closing. The purpose of the plan is to ensure students can continue, complete their studies, or be compensated fairly if neither alternative is possible.

Our student protection plan can be accessed here. It can also be found, along with other EKC Group policies and procedures, by following the link in the 'Our Policies' section above. The 'HE Student Protection Plan' is listed under the subheading 'EKC Group General Policies' on the page you will be re-directed to.