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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A university advertised a fully funded studentship in a

Customer Question

A university advertised a fully funded studentship in a specific subject area and I applied for it. They said there will be fees but they will cover it and offer a stipend. I applied for this following the guidelines provided with a proposal in the stipulated subject area, covering note and a standard form. During the application process I was assured by a university staff that if I was successful there will be funding with it. I was made an offer only stating what the fees were and i went to the university to enrol. During enrolment I explained my above expectation to my director of studies who said she does that do with the funding side and signed my enrolment form omitting confirming the fees as I had made my expectations clear. She said she will speak to the person in charge of funding and get back to me. Eventually it was clear there was no funding and the unversity blocked my enrolment unless i had paid my fees. I refused to pay as not what i expected and enrolment was effectively terminated. 2 years later I receive debt notice and later court hearing for full PhD fees for 1 year. At hearing, the University's agent argues that PhD enrolment is one thing and the funding is another and it is up to the University to give or not give funding. In court, I argue (litigant in person) that a the Fully Funded studentship in a specific area I applied for was one thing and not parts which required a single application. In my studentship application, it included an application form, research proposal, cv all with different dates and they judge said the application form was considered as a stand-alone application which stated an intent to do a phd and therefore i should know that if i want to do a phd i must be prepared to pay. I want to appeal this injustice. My argurment remains that my studentship application was one single application and never intended for it to be treated as several parts. Also, the offer made by the university on the basis that i was a self-funded student was never accepted because of 1.) My enrolment form shows that myself and director of studies signed the form on basis of no fee 2) That when the university demanded fees from me, this was not accepted and not expected. 3) That when the university blocked my enrolment, the enrolment was effectively terminated and frustrated. 4) That even in the worst case scenario, there is no justification to charge a whole year's fees with interest an legal costs etc when the university itself blocked my enrolment within the first semester of three semesters. Above all I feel very hard done for applying for a fully funded studentship in good faith and ending up with debt of over £5000 without literally a day at university.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello Ben, thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hi there. Please can you tell me how long ago you had applied?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hi there. Thank you for the live phone call request. I am unable to talk at the moment as I am in court today. However, please do provide the information requested and then leave it with me. I will then prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello Ben, thank you. I applied on 27th June 2013 for the fully funded studentship
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Many thanks and no problem at all.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello Ben, I appreciate you desire to help. However due to the time constraints in lodging appeals I am now looking on law society website for a possibility of getting a appointment by this afternoon with a solicitor. Thanks
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello Ben, I can see you are back online, any updates for me yet? I am still looking for an urgent solicitors appointment
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hi sorry please ignore the online/offline status as that is not very accurate. If you need an urgent appointment then please go ahead with that as we do have constraints here on how quickly we can offer a response (hence the low costs). Sorry about that

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 4 months ago.
Hello,
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola

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