Shannon’s success.

Some readers may remember my support for Damien Shannon’s case against Oxford earlier in the year. Damien emailed me late last week to bring to my attention the following change on Oxford’s website:

When you complete your Financial Declaration, you will be asked to:

  • Show that you have sufficient funding to cover the University and College fees for Year 1 of your course, by providing financial evidence such as a letter from your scholarship sponsor or your bank
  • Give your assurance that you are able and willing to meet all University and College fees beyond Year 1, if the duration of your course is longer than a year (no financial evidence is required)
  • Give your assurance that you are able and willing to meet your living costs for the duration of your course (no financial evidence is required)

This is a huge retreat and success. It unfortunately comes too late for Damien, whose financial situation has changed such that he can no longer take up his renewed offer of a place. But he Damien can be immensely proud of the good he has done on behalf of all future less privileged applicants. No longer will people have to prove they have the foolishly high figure of £13,000 a year to live on, and the cash on hand from day one to fund the entirety of their forthcoming course. Damien writes:

Under the old system a PhD applicant would have had to prove prior access to at least £55,000 of liquid capital. As of tomorrow that figure will reduce to first year fees (circa. £6,000). Huge difference. I can only imagine this will do a great deal to facilitate access.

Indeed, and the University’s application process will be much fairer for it.

[Correction: Damien wrote to confirm he could in fact now take his place, given the latest changes.]

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