My single crime is trying to go to University.
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I was delighted when I was initially accepted into Sussex University. I had worked hard over a long period of time in my final year of High School in Morocco and got into my desired course which was Biomedecine. As many others, I went through the normal process of applying for a student loan to cover my tuition fees for my three years long MSCi degree. I felt a sense of overwhelming pride as I prepared myself for more rigid studies. I moved back to the UK in August and started my course after a couple of weeks.
During my first month, everything was going smoothly: I was getting accustomed to to the rhythm of lectures, coursework and University life in general. When I accessed my student account, I noticed that my fees have not been covered in contrast to my study mates. This ringed multiple alarm bells and prompted me to contact Student Finance England. Through letter correspondence, I was devastated to find out that I was not eligible for funding and I was instead going to be charged as an "International student" with an exorbitant fee in the upwards of £18,000 per annum. This was due to the fact that I had not been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the commencement of my course. This came as an utter shock as I, being a British Ciitizen, born in the UK and having lived there for nearly 10 years was under the assumption that was reason enough to pursue Higher Education here.
Delving a bit into myself, I was born in the UK to two Moroccan immigrants. I was born in 1998 in Brighton and lived there until 2007 when my parents decided to move back to their home country, being Morocco. Obviously, as a minor, I was obligated to leave with them as well. We resided there up to 2017 when we collectively moved back. We still maintained connections to the country: My father still owns a property here and is still paying mortgage and the relevant bills for it.
Going back to my issue, I contacted two separate MP's in the hopes of resolving this obstacle but no hope: There was no way around it really. It finally dawned upon me that I am expected to hand over large sums of money due to unfair reasons. Sums that I have no remote way of covering. Soon after that, I started receiving emails from the Students Accounts office to resolve my outstanding amounts otherwise I will have to be removed from the establishment. I tried going to different bodies over the past three months but to no avail. The deadline soon came up and I was no closer to amassing the fee for my first initial term (Three months) which was £6,000. I was removed on the 5th of January, 2018 from Sussex University.
I am writing this petition in the hopes of amending the Education "Fees and Awards" Regulations for 2007 in England to include those who are in similar situations to mine and had no control over their choices.
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