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AIBU to feel disheartened that my uni would rather I drop out?

(105 Posts)
Ljsj Mon 14-Oct-19 23:06:34

I'll try keep it brief.
At uni, my degree course nationwide doesn't require a sandwich placement year but my uni has a mandatory one (so, not necessary to get this degree, but at my uni they make it that way). My placement year is next year.
I have a young child, which makes life slightly more complicated as unlike the majority of my course mates I can't move back in with my parents and I can't move wherever I can get a placement.
Initially we were told there would be very few paid placements, upon further inspection it turns out no placements are local, save for a voluntary role with a charity, this is unpaid work.
The placement must be 35-40 hours a week, for 40 weeks.
There's no maintenance loan from student finance during this time and the uni doesn't offer any grants.
I cannot progress onto my final year unless I undertake a placement.

Have spoken to the uni, people in several separate departments, and they've all passed me around and the final answer is "drop out, or transfer universities if you want to finish your degree". Neither are really an option, and I'm a bit baffled that they've been so dismissive about it, they won't let me skip the placement year.

I've asked everywhere I can and I'm not getting anywhere. Is it mad for them to suggest dropping out or am I overreacting? I'm in my second year so have already completed my first year. Do not have a partner so no second salary I can live off for the year whilst I undertake an unpaid placement. Longshot, but does anyone have a clue what I can do?

SaskiaRembrandt Wed 16-Oct-19 07:02:42

Tbh it’s probably daft to say the uni is ‘expecting’ students to do anything in particular to make it work, they’ve set the expectations for the course and it’s up to you to meet them, and if you can’t then it’s not really their issue,

But it is their issue. They are going against the current push towards ending social and financial exclusion.

MummytoCSJH Fri 18-Oct-19 12:34:31

I've just had a meeting with my course placement advisor regarding this so I hope this info helps you as well OP! The placement coordinator for your course can write to student finance recommending you get the entire amount, your tutor can also add in a letter supporting it. This doesn't include the childcare or parents learning grant but it does mean you'd get the normal maintenance amount including the special support part. Can you ask about this as it seems they haven't mentioned it to you - explain why you need it as they may not be totally aware of the situation - I can't imagine them not knowing they can do this but they may not want to offer it in case it encourages people to not work as hard to find a paid placement (iyswim)

Londonmummy66 Fri 18-Oct-19 14:24:00

If you can work for the CAB then it may well be that you could work in a firm in an associated field - as you are interested in trust and estates perhaps an accountancy firm or a bank. You could have a look at the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners website to find your local branch www.step.org/uk-and-ireland You could try contacting the student officer for your local branch and explaining the position and asking if they had come across the situation before or if they knew of a firm that might take you on. If you want to do trust and estates work then STEP membership is useful (and it is a great organization to network in - I still miss it). You might also look at doing one of their certificates in your placement year to give yourself an added "edge" when it comes to job seeking.

WhoTellsYourStory Fri 18-Oct-19 15:54:46

Definitely try in-house. Banks and other big companies have legal teams, and often people don't think of them because they're not law firms (so there may be less competition). I've never heard of a uni with such an odd rule, though, but perhaps things have changed since I graduated from the GDL/LPC!

Theresnobslikeshowbs Fri 18-Oct-19 16:38:17

Ds is on his second year of LLB and LPC combined- it’s a 3 year degree and the only uni that offers it. They don’t have to do a placement year and he has already been offered a training contract, providing his grades are as they should be, when he graduates at the end of the 3rd year.

We looked at many universities, and said a placement year with no funding, just wasn’t possible. Thankfully he was given an unconditional offer for his first place university that’s also closet to home, so he is able to commute.

I really feel for you. I had ds less than two months before I started university as a single parent, so I am well aware of the pitfalls, the hurdles, etc. There was so much juggling when I was on placement- 6, 8, 12 weeks, mostly around childcare.

But you will find a way, when you’ve got this far, you know you’ll stop at nothing to find a solution. Worst case, could transfer and move, if you would be moving for a training placement possibly anyway? Just do it early?

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