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Background Info

I would like to bring it to your attention that English students who have studied the Scottish LLB undergraduate degree are unable to receive any funding towards the post-graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

The regulations at the moment mean that English students are unable to source any funding from Student Finance England or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland towards the Diploma. We do not meet the requirements of SFE because this particular post-graduate course is not regarded as a Masters. In addition, when speaking to SAAS they have said that those who have studied an undergraduate degree do not meet the ‘ordinary resident’ requirement in Scotland for administration purposes. However, if we take some time out and can illustrate we have been living in Scotland for 6 months or a year (this timeframe has been uncertain when speaking to SAAS), we may be able to meet these requirements.

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. I also find it outrageous that I myself have bought a property in Edinburgh, which I have been resident in since December 2016, and I shall still not be regarded as an ordinary resident in September 2017 (I have previously lived in Scotland renting since September 2013). Many other students just like me have personal ties to Scotland.

I have spoken to various universities, SAAS, SFE and the Law Society of Scotland in relation to this issue. I feel it is extremely discriminatory against English students because of the fact EU students can get funding for this course. It seems obscene because this post-graduate can only be used to practice as a solicitor in Scotland’s jurisdiction.

As the position stands, the only other alternative to fund this course is the Careers Development Loan. This has major implications on the prospects of students' careers. Firstly, payments start a month after the Diploma finishes. These typically work out at:

£458 per month = Over a 24 Month term
£320 per month = Over a 36 Month term

The typical traineeship wage will not allow much money spare from these funds to pay for ordinary living. This is also regarded as a loan which means that it may have severe implications upon your credit rating.

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.