The Student Room Group

Returning Student and SFE complications

This is a lengthy one sorry its quite complicated and not sure how to explain it succinctly (as my old course director would say!)

I had to interrupt my studies last year two have bilateral hip replacements. I have completed year one and the first semester of year two hence why I haven't yet returned. I am due back the end of January/beginning of February 2024. I reapplied for finance at the beginning of the year for year 23/24 and this was all approved. In September I spoke with student finance just before my second operation and provided the evidence to authorise a reassessment of my DSA, this was all given the green light and an assessment appointment given in October.

My surgery was moved forward but I kept my appointment with DSA (I had surgery the day before and returned home the day of assessment- I was THAT determined to ensure things ran smoothly)

The assessment centre contacted me and Ergonomics team who had come out to assess me as they were waiting for my DSA2 form to return which it hadn't still. They advised me that although I had done semester one already and wasn't required to be at university the university still had me down as interrupted.

I booked a LSP meeting to update my learning plan and highlighted to them that my DSA had effectively been shelved by SFE which is the exact expression used by the DSA assessment centre due to the university having me still on interruption. They confirmed I was interrupted until January 26 2024. I explained that nothing was being processed because that date preventing anything proceeding which meant my transport couldn't been assessed and arranged in preparation (hopefully approved) nor equipment sorted for the start of term. Both these things take several weeks to months to arrange.

After a little nudge and a few emails to fees for which I had no acknowledgment or response even though it including an email from course director and PAT confirming I was not due in September I was due back January and as such using interruption wasn't representative of the fact but did prevent all systems functioning effectively two weeks later (Monday 11th) I got a returning student form in my inbox.

My DSA assessment contacted me again this week saying status is still interrupted and they would check next week before holidays. I logged into SFE yesterday to discover the university has now updated them and then closed the next day informing them I have SUSPENDED my studies for the whole of 23/24 for a third year even when the limit is 2 years interruptions. (I had to interrupt after year one, then returned but had to interrupt half way through due to operation recovery and them not wanting me to study the semester at home).

In response to this SFE have cancelled all my student finance and DSA sent a calculation letter and zeroed everything and my whole account has course suspended everywhere.

How do I proceed? the university were asked to verify my return to enable my DSA to be fully assessed their end even though everywhere says university confirmation isn't required, however, as the university have me interrupted for a semester ive already completed which I argued as my interruption finished September, attendance would be a duplication, but it seems they aren't able to put authorised absence, or attendance not required for a semester to hold SFE payments until January when required. But they have then told them ive interrupted for the whole year and basically forfeit my whole degree!

Without my DSA I can't get to university due to mobility, without my student finance I can't cover it at a cost of £250 a day according to DSA recommendation especially when it won't be refunded necessarily or approved, I have no suitable chair or desk to work from due to impact on back as these issues were present at original DSA assessment.

Everyone is now away until January 2nd, and usually a week of chaos after that, which means by the time anyone looks at the situation and process anything the semester has started I'm absent and behind chances of success isn't good on those terms and the university won't allow remote learning anymore but did last year and that wasn't covid related it was ill health for people. I'm being put at major disadvantage with 53K in student loans and no degree, everyone's gone on holiday, ive done everything on time, on schedule and it seems a waste of time.

To make it worse other than an automated email in SFE website of a pending letter which may arrive sometime this year, the university haven't communicated anything since my request for confirmation, no one has explained anything. Do I re apply for finance AGAIN, or will it just be rejected because the university keep saying I'm interrupted? This seems to screw up all logical systems.

How am I meant to proceed with anything? any ideas? (sorry its lengthy)

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