BPP University has refused to give exam results to students whose fees are overdue.

The university, which has one of the country's most prominent law schools, was accused of "threatening to withhold" January exam results that were due to be provided to students this week. 

"No thought has been considered that students, particularly those working to afford their fees, may have been made furlough or lost their jobs due to COVID-19," said an insider who believed that changed circumstances for students could have led to an "issue with payments."

A spokeswoman for BPP would not respond directly on the allegation of exam results being withheld. She would only say that "we are sympathetic to students impacted by Covid-19 and are offering extensions or instalment plans on a case-by-case basis”. 

She added "our programmes continue to run and we are following our usual payment collection processes". 


Pay me

The usual payment collection process. How it might look.


The decision may well be down to the private equity owners looking to squeeze every penny they can out of the university. No doubt the nice academics who run the courses will be horrified.

Update: A student writes, “Yes, BPP is withholding my exam results despite my course not finishing until November, they’re requesting I pay up all remaining fees now. I’ve finished the teaching aspect of my course, but fellow students are having to take part in shoddy online teaching that they’re claiming isn’t worth the money they’re paying into BPP, and still having their results withheld due to remaining fees being owed.”

Another writes, “I’ve gone back home to [my home country] and because of lockdown, banks are closed, so I can’t pay the rest of my fees, which is just over £500. I’m still refused access to my results.”

 

If you're a student at the university, do let us know if BPP has held back on your exam results.

Tip Off ROF

Comments

BPP Grad 01 May 20 09:52

The actual email I received from BPP prior to finishing the course:

"Good Morning,

I am writing with regards to your LPC exam results which are being released on Friday.

Our records show you have an outstanding balance on your account, this could be tuition fees or resit fees.

If you have an outstanding balance, your results will not be released."

Gobblepig 01 May 20 09:59

I doubt BPP are alone in doing this, and I am pretty sure that my GDL/LPC provider had a similar policy when I did my law stuff many years ago.  It's basically the only lever a higher-education body has apart from commencing insolvency proceedings (which no-one can do at the moment in practice). 

Trainee 01 May 20 10:16

Whilst this didn't happen to me, I am certain that ULaw have a similar policy (at least they did last year when I was an LPC student). 

Ex-UOL 01 May 20 10:17

I'm pretty sure UoL operated the same policy last year for LPC results. I don't think it's particularly unreasonable - final fee instalments were likely due months ago so not really related to corona.

Anonymous 01 May 20 10:18

Not sure this is really new. My university certainly had a policy of not allowing you to graduate if you had library fines outstanding. That was a long time ago...

Mountain 01 May 20 10:24

This isn't news. My university had this process for my first degree, my second university had the same process for my masters, and the LPC provider in due course had similar provisions.

I would be concerned if education providers didn't have robust revenue collection processes in place: it would tell me that they were incapable of realising money due to them, and that they were unnecessarily putting their financial stability at risk.

Thuggy 01 May 20 10:50

I bought myself a new Rolex (on credit)  to celebrate having gotten a TC. Just because my TC has been deferred I can’t believe the jewellers are still insisting I pay the monthly instalments! It’s so unfair! I worked hard to get that TC! I DESERVE that ROLEX!

Lydia 01 May 20 10:52

This is really standard - the universities do it too. If you did not people would never pay anything. More to the point is why potential lawyers think it is fine not to pay debts.

Pam Demic 01 May 20 10:55

I think the point is that they are still doing this during the lockdown when people are in financially precarious situations (student bar jobs - gone, etc). 

King George 01 May 20 11:14

Rather like a law firm exercising a lien on the client's papers for unpaid costs.

Shocking? Not really.

anon 01 May 20 11:31

“I’ve gone back home to [my home country] and because of lockdown, banks are closed, so I can’t pay the rest of my fees, which is just over £500. I’m still refused access to my results.”

Did the cat eat his online access?

financelawyer1989 01 May 20 11:43

I completed the LPC at BPP five years ago and my fees were paid to BPP directly by my sponsor firm.  I'm a 3PQE lawyer at a City law firm. 

BPP has sent very threatening emails to my personal email address over the last four weeks demanding that I pay "outstanding unpaid LPC course fees" immediately and threatening Court action if I don't pay - as any solicitor will know this is something you want to avoid at all costs as you have to disclose it to the SRA even if it is without merit.  I've had no contact with BPP since I 'graduated' the LPC and my firm paid my course fees. 

I have no idea if I am the only ex-student who has received emails recently demanding money but I suspect I'm not.   BPP didn't respond to my emails disputing this but I eventually managed to speak to someone in their finance team.  The lady I spoke to demanded that I pay and asked to take payment immediately.  Eventually my firm stepped in and it has now been resolved.  I've had no apology from BPP or explanation as to why or how this happened.  

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gobblepig 01 May 20 11:53

@Pan Demic as someone else has said, these fees were due some time ago. At Nottingham Law School I had to present three post-dated cheques up-front, all three of which were post-dated to well before the end of term. 

 

Fundamentally, BPP is not a charity; it's a business. I know it offends the Momentum-flavoured Islingtonians who run and spend the majority of their lives on RoF, but privately-owned education establishments exist and there isn't much of a rationale for destroying their business. 

The harsh reality is that, if your plan is to hope that you can afford your legal tuition by the end of the course and are not in a position up front to pay it, then it is a bad plan and you should not start the course.

Anonymous 01 May 20 12:07

# 11:43

There is no requirement to disclose a simple debt claim to the SRA as you have described above.

AJ 01 May 20 20:00

The issue being, which hasn't been made clear, is that BPP shifted the release of results by a week so that it would fall after the next round of payments were due. I know payment is expected before release of fees, but fees for the courses and exam we sat had already been paid, I think this was a rather cynical ploy... 

Anonymous 01 May 20 20:57

#11:43

You don't have to disclose such a debt claim to the SRA...are you really a lawyer or do you just want to badmouth BPP?

Anonymous 02 May 20 01:32

"as any solicitor will know this is something you want to avoid at all costs as you have to disclose it to the SRA even if it is without merit."

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever read. I hope you're not a solicitor advising clients. 

 

Anonymous 02 May 20 12:59

@ Gobblepig 01 May 20 11:53

 

Your furious downvoting is as obvious as your lack of knowledge about the SRA.

Anonymous 03 May 20 18:30

Think the point may may have been missed here. People are not expecting to get an lpc for free or avoid paying. The problem lies within bpp strategically delaying results day by 3 weeks till the day after payment was due- students who have lost jobs etc can now not receive results whilst they try sort out their finances, meaning they potentially will have resits very soon and not know.

BPP also cancelled their core module exams- then decided they would do them again giving students 3 weeks notice to revise. They assured students that due to coronavirus and many people having ill family members not to worry, if you can’t do them now there will be multiple resit opportunities. They have now ( after exams started) told us the resits will be in January 2021 meaning tier 4 students(visa) now have no choice but to complete all core modules with less than 1 weeks notice before their visa runs out. 

Whilst doing my GDL at bpp I really did think it was a fantastic institution. Now, after comparing bpp’s reaction with other LPC providers I have completely lost confidence. 

Gobblepig 05 May 20 08:46

@Anonymous 02 May 20 12:59 if you're going to post an chippy response to someone, at least try to get the topic right.  You muppet. 

Gobblepig 05 May 20 08:58

@Anonymous 02 May 20 12:59

Oh I see. You think I'm masquerading as someone else on this thread and arguing with you about the SRA. 

I have not been, and to be honest have not really been following your...fascinating...discussion about the SRA. 

I cannot really imagine the SRA would be much interested in being told about debt claims; so far as I am aware it only really cares about criminal proceedings and insolvency situations. But I have not experienced either of those and so don't give a toss. Good luck with your gripping argument. 

Anonymous 05 May 20 12:30

Gobblepig- you are very chippy

Must hurt watching all those started off with get promoted while you remain in the trenches getting paid less

Feel the anger bro

Gobblepig 05 May 20 13:36

Anonymous @12:30 not sure why you're picking a fight with me; it was your initial mistake and no-one else's. I cannot even tell whether we actually differ in relation to the SRA issue, given that your imaginative choice of pseudonym makes it difficult to tell you apart from the other towering intellect with whom you've been bickering

Also, I am a partner in private practice, although given I've no plans to out myself here you'll just have to take my word for it. Or not; your opinion is, quite frankly, a matter of supreme indifference to me. 

Gobblepig 05 May 20 14:30

Good guess - but no, it's City dispute resolution. Good luck with your tuition fees.

Related News