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PhD Discussion Forum

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Message

repaying bursary after quitting phd


User: AnnJolie - 11 January 2016 23:10

Hi,

I've been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and it's given me a tough time. I don't know if I can cope with the PhD and the constant fear and worries. I have sought help and seen the university's counsellor, I also informed my programme leader. He offered me to take an interruption but I continued as I was getting better on meds. I have not informed my supervisor. I just can't get talk to her about it and feel like I'm letting her down.

I want to quit but one of my biggest fears is that I'll need to repay my bursary. The bursary conditions say that the uni reserves the right to ask back payment. I'm in my 3rd year, have two children and given up a good job for the PhD, I don't have any means to pay back the bursary as I spent most for childcare anyway. I feel trapped and like the only reason I'm still in the program is because of the fear of debt I have to pay back.

Can someone please advice if my university can enforce a repayment if I quit because of my mental health?

Thanks

User: pd1598 - 12 January 2016 09:13

I'm sure that it is very rare for a University to demand you repay all the bursary. Think of it this way - when you quit your job did you have to repay all your salary? To be sure, just ask the Uni, each may be different.

User: TreeofLife - 12 January 2016 09:52

I agree, in the UK, I've never heard of someone having to pay it back.

It's common for that to be stipulated to international students, but even then, I'm yet to hear of a case where it was enforced.

User: Hugh - 12 January 2016 09:56

I think you should ask the university directly whether it needs to be paid back.

I would call up the graduate office anonymously and ask. If they say no, get them to confirm for you via email.

In the UK, research councils don't ask to be paid back; and neither do universities. But I know that students funded from abroad do have to pay back.

I would get clarification first instead of worrying about it. Then you can make a more informed decision. Even if they do say yes, you have to pay it back, maybe you can appeal to the university on the grounds of ill health.

Let us know how you get on. And I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties.

User: ZaoRazor - 12 January 2016 11:21

Hi,

I think you only have to pay back the money you got in advance. For example, if you quit on January 31st and they've already paid you for February, you just have to return February's payment

Check with the student finance department just to be on the safe side..

User: TreeofLife - 12 January 2016 11:29

Quote From ZaoRazor:
Hi,

I think you only have to pay back the money you got in advance. For example, if you quit on January 31st and they've already paid you for February, you just have to return February's payment


Yes I've heard this said, too.



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