Graduation? Yeah that’s fine
Uni told off for stopping students from graduating if they haven’t paid fines
The Office of Fair Trading has told Nottingham University that the decision to stop students from graduating because of unpaid fines could be illegal.
This is a widespread practice in the UK, and the OFT has written to over 170 universities to warn them that preventing graduation because students hadn’t coughed up for parking or library fines would breach consumer laws.
One of the main issues with stopping students from leaving Notts because they owe money is that, without graduating, they are going to struggle to earn the money they need to repay those debts. Students have as little cash as Michael Chopra in a casino, so how can they pay back what they owe when they’re not allowed to leave and get jobs?
Colum McGuire, the NUS’s vice president for welfare, seems chuffed with the OFT’s decision: “I’m delighted to see that the OFT has responded to our complaints and confirmed that this practice is incredibly unfair, which is what NUS has been saying all along.”
With the news coming just days after The Tab’s shocking revelation that the university has made over half a million pounds from library and parking fines in the last two years, it remains to be seen how the bigwigs will react.
Graduation prevention is the biggest incentive to actually paying your fines, so are renegade students going to start running around campus, throwing books in the lake, parking on Portland Hill and even – if they’re real anarchists – driving the wrong way down the one-way road? Modern-day student activism at its finest.
Predictably, Notts students have reacted with unequivocal joy at the OFT’s intervention. Molly Ashcroft, a third year law student, said: “This is great news for the students at UoN. It’s completely ridiculous to stop people from graduating because they didn’t get a short loan book or two back in time. Especially when these fines are totally excessive, anyway.”
First year History and Politics student Ollie Samuels said: “Personally, I think it’s a bit strange that the uni has this policy… Surely they’re making enough money from tuition fees, as well as hiring out accommodation and conference facilities out of term time.”
Mike Burman, a second year, added: “This rule about not graduating is not right at all. The uni will always look for ways to make money out of students and that shouldn’t be part of how well you do in your degree.”