Reintroduce Subsidy For Medical Certificates
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The University of East Anglia (UEA) will be ending their subsidy for some students, which ensures that students do not pay for medical certificates. Learning and Teaching Hubs at UEA demand that students provide medical evidence if they apply for more than one extension. Extenuating circumstances often mean that students are in a bad place already, and now students registering in September are expected to pay £35 for a certificate. This is outright financial exploitation.
It will only discourage poorer students from applying for extensions, whilst those with disposable income can afford to pay. Not having to worry about fees made my applications for a certificate simple and worry free, and I want every student to have these opportunities. I'm calling on UEA to reintroduce the subsidy and ensure that all students have access to help and support.
Concrete, the campus newspaper, noted: 'From September, new students will have to pay a charge to the UEA Medical Centre (UMS) for a medical note. Students who need a medical certificate to apply for extenuating circumstances or an extension will be charged the standard NHS levy of £35. There will continue to be no charge for exam certificates. The university currently pays a subsidy to the UMS so students are not charged for a UEA Medical Certificate. For the next academic year the charge will apply to first year students. From September 2018 only first and second year students will have to pay and from September 2019 it will apply to first, second and third years. The charge is expected to be staggered so by September 2020 all students will have to pay.'
Full Concrete article: http://www.concrete-online.co.uk/ums-charge-september/
It is clear that this will only disadvantage poorer students, and those with a limited disposable income who cannot afford the £35 fee. Illness should not result in students being exploited for financial gain. If UEA desires medical evidence so badly, then they should cover the associated costs. Students pay enough. Education is not what it used to be, universities are becoming more like companies and less like educational institutions.
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