Students have threatened to report law school BPP to the Competition and Markets Authority after the legal educator refused for a second time to refund tuition fees for alleged lockdown failures.

Responding to an appeal from students on the Legal Practice Course – who lodged a formal complaint in August – vice-chancellor Professor Tim Stewart said BPP’s original decision had been ‘reasonable’.

The university concluded in September that it acted in line with its contractual obligations and that it was not obliged to reimburse students.

In a letter to 140 complainants, Stewart said BPP delivered the LPC course over broadly the same time frame, despite the pandemic and had taken steps to ensure that students were not disadvantaged.

‘The Department for Education makes it clear that universities can charge full fees where they are delivering courses which are fit for purpose and help students progress with their qualifications. In addition, it is clear that universities are able to rely on their own terms and conditions when deciding whether to issue refunds to students,’ Stewart wrote.

Students claimed BPP failed to make all reasonable efforts to provide learning materials during lockdown; that class sizes exceeded the contractually agreed 18-20; that online assessments were negligently prepared; and that they were discouraged from bringing a formal complaint.

BPP declined to comment.

The Gazette understands students plan to report the issues to the Competition and Markets Authority and appeal BPP’s decision to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.