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Waiver Policy

The University's Waiver Policy encompasses three schemes to support students facing exceptional financial circumstances, Tuition Fee Remission, Fee Waivers and Debt Written-Off.

Tuition Fee Remission

Tuition Fee Remission is open to self-funded international or postgraduate students who:

  • have paid at least one instalment of fees for the academic year for which fees are being considered for remission
  • can demonstrate that there has been both a substantial and unforeseen deterioration in their financial circumstances or that of their sponsor. This deterioration will have occurred since the start of the current academic year in which the application is made.

Fee Waiver

A student can apply who has incurred fee liability as a result of markedly compelling personal circumstances such as:

  • Terminal illness
  • Recent bereavement
  • Natural disaster (having a direct impact on the student or their source of funding and/or support)

Please note: Extenuating Circumstances as accepted by an award board are not, in themselves, sufficient to allow a student to be considered for a fee waiver.

In addition, a waiver will only be authorised if it is the only way to cover the fee liability. An application will be rejected if the student has either:

  1. access to government funding for the tuition fees under consideration. A student must have exhausted this route before applying for a waiver; for example, applying for additional fee support from Student Finance by providing them with evidence of their compelling personal reasons or
  2. an ability to suspend from their studies to stabilise their financial circumstances.

The only occasion that the criteria outlined at Number 1 is superseded is:

  • in the first term of the first year of a Student-Finance funded undergraduate degree or PGCE course and
  • the application for the waiver relates to a withdrawal in the first six weeks of the course (dated from the official course start date) and
  • the withdrawal is a result of exceptional compelling circumstances as outlined above.

Debt Write-Off

A former student who has withdrawn from the University with outstanding debt may request that their debt be written off if:

  • they have exceptional compelling personal circumstances as described under Fee Waivers above and are unable to pay the amount outstanding due to long-term financial hardship. 

If approved, the University will terminate the collection of the debt permanently. 

How to apply

In order to apply for any of the schemes outlined above, you will need to complete the Waiver application form and submit it with the relevant documentary evidence.

To request the application form, please provide a brief summary of your circumstances to fee.waiver@uwe.ac.uk.

Evidence

Along with the completed application form, students must provide evidence of their circumstances as required by each of the schemes. 

If you have already submitted some evidence as part of an Extenuating Circumstances (EC) application, by applying for a waiver, you authorise the panel to access the EC application and associated evidence.

If you are not sure what to provide, please email fee.waiver@uwe.ac.uk for advice.

What happens next?

We will check that you are eligible to apply for one of the schemes outlined above. Applications received for reasons other than outlined above will be rejected with guidance or referral to appropriate services such as complaints.

We will contact you if your application is not complete as you need to provide additional evidence. 

The Waiver Panel meets once a month to make recommendations on applications on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor. The panel's decision is final and there is no right of appeal. 

Important considerations

  1. Fee remission, fee waivers and debt write-off are at the discretion of the University of the West of England.
  2. No waiver application will be considered while other University procedures are ongoing in relation to the module, course or other service against which the application has been made. This includes but is not limited to:
    • exam boards
    • appeals process
    • complaints
    • disciplinary proceedings.
  3. Students cannot apply solely on the grounds of financial hardship or from an unwillingness to access a tuition fee loan.
  4. It is not the purpose of the scheme to consider applications from students who disagree with the fee-charging policy of the University – this included charges made in relation to re-sits. Students wishing to contest their liability for tuition fees in respect of the fee charging policy should contact the complaints department.

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