Continuation Charge ‘grace period’ announced

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The University has announced a grace period for postgraduate research students, allowing them to submit their thesis up until fourth week of Hilary term without incurring the University Continuation Charge. 

The University Continuation Charge is a termly fee paid by postgraduates who have exceeded the standard period of fee liability. For most DPhil students, this happens in the tenth term of study after starting the programme of study. The charge for the 2020/2021 is £508 per term. Students will be able to submit their thesis up to four weeks after the traditional deadline without incurring further fees. 

The University stated, “a four-week grace period before assessing liability for University Continuation Charges in Hilary term 2021. This will allow students to submit their thesis by Friday of 4th week (12 February 2021) instead of the normal deadline of Friday of 0th week (15 January 2021) without incurring the UCC for Hilary. This grace period will automatically be provided to you if you submit your thesis by 12 February 2021, and you will not need to apply for an academic extension to cover late submission of your thesis if it is submitted during the grace period.”

The grace period is a result of lobbying from the Student Union. The VP for Graduates, Lauren Bolz, who has been lobbying for the policy, commented:

“I am really pleased to see that the University has listened to postgraduate research students’ concerns, and has recognised the impact that Covid-19 has had on students’ studies. In a year where students have had to make so many sacrifices to keep themselves and others safe, whilst keeping on top of their studies, this change should go a long way to give students the extra time they need to submit their dissertations. I will continue to lobby for the same grace period to be implemented in Trinity Term 2020 and for continued improvements to the overall graduate student experience.”

However, students may still be liable for a college continuation charge. The SU has promised to continue to lobby colleges for further grace periods.  

Students whose finances have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can also apply to the COVID-19 Hardship Fund for support. The fund can provide up to £5,000 to support students with continuation fees, with living costs and with unexpected financial consequences of the pandemic. Applications are open until Friday of sixth week Trinity term, and can be made by speaking to your College Hardship Officer. 

Image Credit: Hadock


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