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    Am asking for a friend:

    She started at one uni, but only attended 2 days - just inductions, not even any lectures. She then had to transfer to another uni due to medical reasons (she could no longer travel to the first uni). The first uni is now claiming she owes them £2000.

    Advice seems really unclear. Her new uni and student finance both don't seem to know what to advise. Her first uni is giving conflicting advice - one person she contacted there said she had to pay, another said that there is a two-week grace period which means she doesn't.

    Anyone got any advice? I've suggested she should try and find some evidence of the grace period, as that should prove she doesn't have to pay. I've also suggested contacting the NUS.

    Edit to clarify: it was her second year, she had completed (and paid for) her first year there.
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    (Original post by FeathersSil)
    Am asking for a friend:

    She started at one uni, but only attended 2 days - just inductions, not even any lectures. She then had to transfer to another uni due to medical reasons (she could no longer travel to the first uni). The first uni is now claiming she owes them £2000.

    Advice seems really unclear. Her new uni and student finance both don't seem to know what to advise. Her first uni is giving conflicting advice - one person she contacted there said she had to pay, another said that there is a two-week grace period which means she doesn't.

    Anyone got any advice? I've suggested she should try and find some evidence of the grace period, as that should prove she doesn't have to pay. I've also suggested contacting the NUS.

    Edit to clarify: it was her second year, she had completed (and paid for) her first year there.
    It's very difficult to advise without some more information.

    The advice about contacting the NUS is not bad - but the student union for the university concerned would be a better idea. Student unions are funded by universities not to provide cheap drinks but to help students navigate university regulations and bureaucracy.

    Does she have evidence that she withdrew (and notified the official student records/registry) after 2 days?

    Also has the university concerned referred her to any official public policy on payment of fees for partial attendance of a year that she agreed to as part of her enrolment? This is usually the reason that a university will try to claim fees (but also usually doesn't result in claiming fees directly from an applicant unless their policy differs from the amount give to a university for partial attendance by the SLC - specifically the SLC will pay a university 25% of annual fees for attendance beyond 2 weeks of the first term, another 25% for attendance after Christmas and the final 50% for attendance after Easter). If you're willing to share the university concerned then it might be possible to help find the relevant policies (they should be public ). Also can you clarify if this was Autumn 2015? because if so then your friend might be able to mention a change in guidance that came in in spring 2015 which might frighten the university concerned into backing down.

    One definite piece of advice is to pull together a folder of evidence/records and to add to this whenever she contacts the university. If she's received conflicting advice then it's helpful if she can specify the date/time called, the number she dialled and the name and job title of the people giving the advice. That might not be something she has a record of but it's the sort of record keeping to ask for and record going forward.
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    Hi!

    Original uni was Derby. And yup, Autumn 2015. What's the new guidance?

    Edit to add: she's getting her paperwork together and also getting a doctor's note so she'll have evidence it was for medical reasons.
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    Urgh I found this:
    http://www.derby.ac.uk/media/derbyac...endar-1516.pdf

    It seems to suggest that as soon as she registered the uni will hold her to 25% of her fees. Which is ridiculous given that she left before the attendance point they note further down where the student finance kicks in . . .
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    (Original post by FeathersSil)
    Hi!

    Original uni was Derby. And yup, Autumn 2015. What's the new guidance?
    OK so the new guidance was that students are protected under the Consumer and Marketing Act. https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...nsumer_law.pdf explains more and might be worth just mentioning in passing when speaking to someone over the phone.

    Looking at Derby's website the information that this would happen *is* available....but there may well be an arguement that it isn't "fair, accessible and transparent".

    On enrolling students are told that they're agreeing to http://www.derby.ac.uk/campus/first-...ms-conditions/ which does mention cancellation and refunds. But you have to click through to http://www.derby.ac.uk/media/derbyac...endar-1516.pdf to find the rates and the clarity that "if you leave before the SLC liability point we will come after you directly for 25% of your annual fee" isn't really made in accessible or transparent language.

    "3.2 A university’s terms must be fair, accessible and transparent. A universityshould also draw your attention to any terms that may be particularlysurprising or important, and whose significance may be missed. An exampleof such a term could be a provision that sets out how tuition fees may changeduring the course."
    and
    "3.5 Terms may not be fair, accessible and transparent if, for example, they are: only provided at the time you meet the requirements of a conditional offeror at the time you enrol;
    " only available on a university’s intranet, which can only be accessed byexisting students;
    " set out in a number of lengthy documents or across a number of locations(for example on the university’s website); or
    " not written in plain language so you are unable to understand the meaningand how the terms could affect you."
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    Thank you! Have passed this on and told her to read this thread. Hopefully her next email with the uni will sort it. If not, I guess we need to find some source of free legal advice/representation . . .
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    (Original post by FeathersSil)
    Thank you! Have passed this on and told her to read this thread. Hopefully her next email with the uni will sort it. If not, I guess we need to find some source of free legal advice/representation . . .
    If your friend can't afford to pay then it's worth explaining that too - if they're willing to take partial payment or writing off the debt.

    If they aren't being reasonable then working through https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.u...ontrol-of-debt is worthwhile - if your friend is on a low income then something like a debt relief order or management plan could force them to write it off.
 
 
 
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