Friday, March 30, 2007

what would you do?

Heres something you may find interesting. As a full time student, I applied for several papers to study. Any course text books can be ordered from Bennetts Bookshop and a form is supplied for this purpose with the course notes, as the University has some sort of relationship with Bennetts. One particular paper was extramural and I had to get six books - three of them for the first assignment due in a month or so.

What then, do you do if Bennetts, or nobody else, has the books, and Bennetts cannot order two of the three books I needed for the first assignment because the supplier does not have them.Furthermore you are not told that until after the withdrawal deadline for fees retention. What do you do if the lecturer did not ensure that Bennetts had enough books on stock or on order so students can utilise the order form to get the books, and what do you do if the campus library doesn't have a copy of the main book nationwide except one copy on reference at a library at the other end of the country. How can you possibly study the course?

Well, you can't really, can you. There's only two options. Ring the lecturer who tells you to order the books even though he was told you can't get them. So he advised me to import them and God knows how long that would take.

The other option is to withdraw from the course and apply for a fees rebate through the appropriate channels. So I did. This was arranged on campus. I now get told, in writing, that I still have to pay my fees because I did not have "critical personal circumstances". How critical is not having, or being able to obtain, the study materials before assignment deadlines?

What would be your reaction if this happened to you?


ZenTiger said...

You could give this to the student union to take up a just cause.

Throw it at the legal faculty and ask for an opinion as it relates to any conceivable law - from fair trading to consumer laws etc.

Ask for the invoice to be deferred until such time as the university is able to offer the course - arguing that you were prepared to do the course but the university appears to deliberately have set an unattainable barrier for entry, only disclosed after the agreement had been made.

You could explain that some people overhead you moaning about this in the cafeteria and you are worried that the professor may be targeted for a horrible capping stunt unless a refund is received...

Greg Bourke said...

Well now isn't that interesting. I was doing extramural Spanish and Bennetts didn't have the course material for that either. In this case I think the problem was that the supply of books, CD, and DVD from Spain never arrived. Both fault of book buying system and the inept Spanish dept.

Kevob said...

If the university has an arrangement with Bennetts to provide course material and if you are required to get it from Bennetts the university appears to be in default. A full refund of course fees should be expected and any other losses met following on from that failure.
You may need to file with the small claims court. A complaint to the ombudsman and the commerce commissiom seems merited too.

ScrubOne said...

If there's one thing the Ribena case tells us (and my varsity lecturers back in the day...) the commerce commission has more power than Helen Clark late for a rugby game :)

Anonymous said...

this does seem to be a commerce commission case.
1. uni is monopoly on the course.
2. UNi clearly set you unobtainable checkmarks to start.
3. the lecturer and uni authorities clearly didn't apply their minds to the issue as all state funded institutions are required to do.

Sue them and for tons of dosh so they can pay for all your studies.
It is the best deterent as they don't censor meadiocrity anymore by sacking.