This weeks' Wednesday Win is the removal of course sanctions for non-academic debt.
In 2014 OFT issued a report giving strong guidance to Universities that they cannot use academic penalties, like withholding results or degree awards, if students have a non-tuition fee based debt such as accommodation payments or library fines.
However, the Consequences of Non-Payment of Debts section of the University’s Students Debt Management Policy there is no differentiation between academic and non-academic debt. Contrary to the OFT’s guidance, this means that students’ academic progress can be penalised even in cases of non-academic debt.
Although most of the time students will not be penalised for non-academic debt in this way, the University’s official policy needs to be updated. We have asked for it to be amended and the university have agreed. Our students are now able to re-enrol in their following academic years freely, even if they are behind in rental payments or other debts to the University.
If you are having any issues with debt, or progressing to the next year of your course, contact The ARC for advice and support.