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University - Pregnancy/Maternity discrimination?

(2 Posts)
Stardust01 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:26:39

Just starting my final module to complete my Open University degree. Have completed courses with them over a number of years, but had my son in December 2010, and was on maternity leave from then until December 2011.

The fee structure has changed this year, and because I skipped the 2010/11 and 11/12 academic years, I am not automatically eligible to continue paying a reduced rate. Anyone else who studied towards a qualification in those years is eligible to continue with reduced fees (the difference per module is over £1000).

I applied to be considered for the reduced rate as a continuing student, as one of the grounds for this in their policy is 'Pregnancy and Maternity'. I have been refused on the grounds that myself and my son do not have 'special' circumstances i.e. no health problems as a result. This was not clear to me from the policy - it implied that pregnancy/maternity was a reason in itself.

Anyway, it rankles with me as unfair, because if I had not had my son at the time that I did, I would have been able to complete my degree by now and not have to pay hiked-up fees (and get a student loan). As I was on maternity leave from work, I guess I thought of myself as being on maternity leave (unofficially) from my studies.

Should I appeal their decision? Do I have grounds, legally, to do so?

Would be very grateful for advice.

titchy Sat 06-Oct-12 19:01:35

I doubt you have any grounds tbh. If you had resumed your studies once your ML had ended, in jan 2011, you'd have been ok. But you've effectively had two years maternity leave, one more than usual.

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