Ombudsman launches UAL probe
The university ombudsman, the Quality Assurance Agency, is conducting an inquiry at the University of the Arts London following complaints over the restructuring of courses.
The QAA said it was investigating complaints from three UAL students, including the current Student Union President Louis Hartnoll, under its concerns scheme, which looks at “academic standards and quality of higher education where it is indicated that serious systemic or procedural shortcomings by the institution are involved".
“The concerns relate to restructuring at UAL, and its alleged detrimental effect on students,” said a spokeswoman for the QAA. “They have been through an initial inquiry, and the case is now under full investigation.”
The inquiry will conclude in April and findings will be published in July this year.
Meanwhile, a UAL spokesperson said: “As London College of Communication was one of the first colleges within the sector to embark on a major programme of portfolio review, and the implementation of major change which followed it, it is perhaps not surprising that they would want to look at how we have managed the process.”
Although QAA cannot compel institutions to take any particular action in response to its findings, it reports to the relevant higher education funding council.
“This is a very rare event and indicates its seriousness,” commented Gary Horne, chair of University and College Union (UCU) at the LCC.
Louis Hartnoll declined to comment.