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Glasgow University will no longer prevent indebted students from graduating

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The University of Glasgow has agreed to change its policy on non-tuition fee debts, which had previously meant that students with outstanding accommodation payments or library fines could be blocked from graduating or re-enrolling.

The move follows an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority which found that in the past the university had sent letters threatening to prevent students from re-enrolling for non-payment of fines as small as £25.

However, while Glasgow University have agreed to change their practices they are adamant that none of their previous conduct was a breach of the law.

Several universities have previously been advised by the CMA to change their policies in this area, including University College London, who made the move in November 2015.

Gordon Ashworth, Director of Consumer Enforcement, said,

“As a result of a change in personal circumstances, students may get into debt. Whilst it’s right that universities are able to recover legitimate debts owed to them, they should do so in a way that is fair and proportionate. Students shouldn’t be prevented from graduating or re-enrolling for the following year’s study because they owe money for non-tuition fee debts, like accommodation or library arrears.”

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Images by Albert Herring and Chor Ip

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