Napier student starts petition to ‘end discrimination’ against English students in Scotland

She’s being denied up to £10,000 in loans which Scottish and EU students are entitled to

A Law student from Yorkshire has started a petition to ‘end discrimination’ against English students in regards to funding for postgraduate study in Scotland.

Rebecca Jeynes, 21, from Redcard, North Yorkshire, moved to Edinburgh to study the LLB at Napier University and is due to graduate this year. Next, Jeynes needs to gain a one-year legal practice diploma if she is to work as a lawyer in Scotland.

However, she says she’s being denied up to £10,000 in loans which Scottish and EU students are entitled to, because she’s from England.

The student set up the petition on the Scottish Parliament website: “Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to widen the Student Awards Agency for Scotland’s (SAAS) eligibility criteria to include post-graduate degree funding for individuals who have studied an undergraduate degree in Scotland but are ordinarily resident in the UK.”

According to the petition, Jeynes does not meet the requirements for funding from Student Finance England because the one-year diploma is not considered a Masters qualification.

When it comes to its Scottish equivalent, Jeynes says that the Student Awards Agency for Scotland told her she she does not meet “the ‘ordinary resident’ requirement in Scotland” despite buying a property in Edinburgh and renting since September 2013, something which she feels is “outrageous.”

According to the petition: “I would like to speculate that this is not an encouraging position for the future of English students wanting to study in Scotland. My current course funds have cost the best part of £26,500 and I have also spent approximately an extra £33,500 within the Scottish economy in the four years I have spent studying in Scotland.”

What’s more, the qualification Jeynes is attempting to gain funding for can only be used north of the border: “It seems obscene because this post-graduate can only be used to practice as a solicitor in Scotland’s jurisdiction.”

“I consider the action requested in the petition necessary, as it does not allow for equal opportunities, placing an unfair disadvantage on British students, as well as being discriminatory.”

Speaking to Legal Cheek, Jeynes stated that: “I have set this [petition] up to support the future of English students who wish to pursue a career in Scottish law and to raise awareness on the issue.”

The petition has almost eighty signatures at the time of writing.

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