I became seriously ill and the uni are making me pay for it
They want 9k from me for being in a hospital bed
Last year, I became seriously ill last year with a type of kidney disease and so I had to suspend my studies in my second semester. Yet, the University are demanding that I need to pay for that whole year.
I realised I was struggling with the University work load more than usual and so I went for blood tests and it was confirmed I had Minimal Change Disease. In layman’s terms, this is where your kidneys leak protein which caused nephrotic syndrome (basically I swelled up like a Michelin man). I had lots of protein in my urine and none in my blood.
Now I have been extra unlucky.
I firstly had it the year before (2015/16) and so was emitted into hospital. I was unable to complete my first semester of what would have been my final year. I can’t lie the University on this occasion were fantastic (mainly down to one individual) and I split my year across two. I was able to complete my minor when I returned in Semester 2 and then I would have completed the last two thirds of my degree last year (2016/17) without paying extra tuition fees.
But my kidneys relapsed.
I queried what would have to be done about my fees for the last year I was ill (2016/17) back in May.
Since then, I have been sent from department to faculty to department to faculty, the advice centre, the fees department, to the humanities department and back again. I was literally going around in circles.
During this time, I have been sent plenty of invoices from Student Services. I have had my University account blocked (imagine no library or online access when you’re completing a 4k essay), and I have not been able to book my graduation.
Eventually, the decision was put down to the head of the humanities department. After several weeks, the decision was sent only to the Humanities office, this was back in December mind. It stated I would have to pay as I attended the whole year…
Livid is an understatement.
Firstly, I did not attend the whole year, I suspended due to reasons beyond my control, and secondly it frustrated me that no-one offered to meet me in person to discuss, or even send the email themselves. Since then, I have emailed and emailed and four months later I have finally got a response and now a meeting.
Meanwhile, as I’m in the midst of my dissertation, the University continues to threaten to block my account and not allow me to graduate unless I pay for a whole year of tuition… like I haven’t been held back two years as it is.
I have completely lost faith in the University system. They have zero regard for student wellbeing and this stress has cause my severe anxiety and I have since been registered under the Enabling Services.
I am being demanded tuition payments for time spent in hospital beds, not in lecture rooms. They clearly are not listening, evidently shown by the fact they keep telling me I attended the whole year. The University have a very weak communication system in place and I cannot understand why students are being made to pay fees when they forced to suspend because of extenuating reasons.
The University Press Office are yet to give comment on this.