A master's degree student contacted iStudent Complaints about a scheduling conflict issue which prohibited them from graduating within a reasonable time. The student had attended the first part of their program, studying part-time and online due to the covid-19 pandemic but had now obtained a student visa and traveled to New Zealand to complete the remainder of their degree. The student had three courses to complete before being able to graduate. They planned on completing the three courses in one trimester like a typical full-time student, but when he tried to register, he was told that one of the three courses was a prerequisite for another, and he could, therefore, not attend them simultaneously. The student had not been made aware of this and had, therefore, not planned accordingly.

He contacted the education provider and his visa consultant to find a solution to the problem, as he would not qualify as a full-time student if he could not attend all three courses during the trimester. Upon receiving the information that he would not be able to complete his studies in one trimester, but instead having to take two, the student applied for an alternate visa and applied to have a new updated offer created by the provider.

Shortly after, the student was informed that completing the remaining three courses in two trimesters would not be feasible as two of the courses were scheduled for the same time and that this clash in the timetable was irreversible. He was furthermore told that he would therefore have to take one of the courses in a different semester, and that, unfortunately, this course was only offered once a year. The consequences of these scheduling issues meant that it would take the student almost a year and a half to complete the remaining three courses.  

How we helped

iStudent Complaints’ Resolution Coordinator contacted the involved parties and collated relevant information from the student and the education provider regarding the dispute. The Resolution Coordinator facilitated a discussion between the student and the provider. The student expressed their stress, frustration, and worry over their inability to graduate within a reasonable time and explained to the provider that they had not been made aware that some courses acted as prerequisites for other classes. The facilitation allowed the student to explain the impact that the postponed graduation had on him financially. The provider acknowledged that this issue had arisen partially due to the student being part-time and online for the first part of the study, which had only made certain courses available, leaving him with an unfeasible schedule. The facilitation provided a forum where the student and provider could look at alternative scheduling options.


As a result of the facilitation, the education provider contacted the professor of one of the clashing courses, who agreed to work with the student one-on-one upon hearing of the issue. This allowed the student to graduate within two trimesters. The student was happy and satisfied with this solution, and felt relieved that his scheduling issues had been taken seriously.