Getting What They Paid For: Consumer Rights of Students in Higher Education

Griffith University
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Griffith Law Review, 2006, March 2007, 15 (2), pp. 306 - 332
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Consumer rights of students in higher education: hot or not? Higher education institutions are increasingly viewed as service providers, and students are increasingly referred to as customers. This trend gives rise to questions as to the application of consumer protection laws in a university context. Recent judicial authority in Australia has arguably limited the public law rights of students in respect of universities. The way forward for aggrieved students now may be to take private law actions in contract and pursuant to consumer laws. There is evidence that suggests a use of consumer protection legislation beyond what was contemplated when this legislation was introduced. This paper will review recent developments in the case law in Australia and New Zealand and consider the effectiveness and appropriateness of consumer law as a means of redress for disgruntled university students.
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