Disclaimer: This is my experience. There may be people who have successfully completed courses with The Learning College. My personal belief and experience is that they do not offer any learner support once they have taken payments.
A bit of a rant and a warning to others…
UPDATE: I received an email from The Learning College saying that they could look into the problems I was having with opening documents. I pointed out that this would not be of any use when the course was about to expire, and that I would rather have my money back. I told them that I was going to write this. Their response, in an email have just received, was extremely rude and threatening libel for this ‘fictitious’ blog. They have made out that they may have considered a refund had I not written this (I do not believe that). Other than the time frame (information which I was given over the phone), I don’t think I have said anything that could be said to be untrue.
I had asked them not to contact unless they were offering a refund. They replied anyway, with a very rude email.
Apparently, it is my fault that I couldn’t open the documents nor access any useful information. The email I received was, basically, ‘you signed, didn’t complete, and now you want your money back’. Well, yes, I do want my money back for something I couldn’t complete (£225 is a lot of money for a few digital pages, especially when they turn out to be useless). I did not expect to get it. Another comment from the email: “it’s a clear indication that you don’t in actual fact love learning as your header would interpret, as you haven’t even attempted to complete a course you have paid for.”
I have ATTEMPTED to do it but, apparently, it’s really ‘simple’ to access these ‘basic word documents’. As I have qualifications in IT, I’d say I’m quite competent. If I can’t open a document, I can’t complete the work.
I do love learning. I have enjoyed all of my learning. I loved learning with The Open University and with Learn Direct, and I have loved all the learning and studying I have completed previously. So yes, I do love learning. I do not, however, love paying for something to get nothing from it.
In November last year (2015), I was looking for work within childcare and education. I was finding this problematic as, despite my extensive experience, I did not hold the appropriate qualifications. I discovered a course through The Learning College. It looked good. It looked like it was a genuine qualification with good resources and a supportive learning structure.
In November, I received 14 emails from The Learning College. I then paid £225 for the course. I received the documents – a mishmash of documents, in no particular order, which I could not open on the laptop on which I had intended to study the course. I tried to open them on a different device. While I was able to open some of the documents, I could not open all of them and, as they were in no particular order, I did not know where to start. Nor was I able to edit the documents I could open, which meant that I could not complete the work.
There is a course login on their website, yet I was never given any details of this so couldn’t have logged in if I wanted to. I wonder if the login details were on one of the documents I couldn’t open.
There was no support from The Learning College. After the initial 14 emails, having taken my money, I had one more email with the documents, and another general one about the college being closed for Christmas. This would be during the ’14 days’ I had to cancel the course.
I then had two emails in February 2016, neither of which were anything to do with my course. I had heard nothing at all from The Learning College until 22nd July 2016 when I had a reminder that I needed to complete documents as they were about to expire. This is a course which, I was told, I could do in my own time, and that there was no limit to when I would need to finish. After paying for the course, I then discovered that I actually only had 8 months (for a course which should take 1-2 years doing it full time) in which to complete the course. As I was already working, studying, and looking after family, this would have been difficult even if I had have been able to access all of the documents. Had I known before paying for the course that there was an expiration date, I would not have taken it on.
So, The Learning College lied to me about how long I could have to do the course. They send documents in files without checking that the person receiving them will actually be able to open them. Upon my request to have my £225 returned, was told that that is not possible because of the 14 day cancellation policy. That 14 days would have included the college’s Christmas holiday.
I expected to have some support from the college but, in 7 months, all I have received is spam and an email to tell me that the course I have not been able to access is about to expire.
Before I signed up for the course, I was wary that it may be a scam but it was the only way I could do the course I needed. I now believe that I was right. I may have lost £225 but, hopefully, I can warn others against signing up for these things.
I was feeling like a bit of an idiot, thinking there are things I should have done, and it was my own fault. Except, I did do the things I should have done, and anything I didn’t do was because I couldn’t.
Perhaps, if you can open the documents and complete the work within a much shorter time frame than they have you believe they allow, there is a possibility of an actual qualification at the end of it. But I would not waste my time with them again.