The Student Allowance Appeal Authority allowed an appeal from a student who was simultaneously enrolled at two universities for remote studies and granted them a student allowance.

The total workload that this student had undertaken was 1.2 of a full-time load, which is well over the 0.8 EFTS requirement to qualify for a student allowance.

The Authority was faced with the question of whether this student’s study arrangements fell within the wording of the requirement to be “enrolled in a full-time course at a tertiary provider.” At first glance it appeared as though the wording of the requirement did not cover this student’s arrangement as she was not associated with “a” (meaning only one) tertiary provider.

The student successfully argued that the singular expression of “a” (meaning only one) should not exclude her arrangement of being enrolled at two universities at the same time. She emphasised that the wording of this requirement was merely intended to prevent part-time students from claiming a student allowance.

One factor that made this student’s argument particularly convincing was that the legislators of the Student Allowance Regulations Act 1988 (the statute that guides the Authority) could not possibly have anticipated that simultaneous study at two different universities would ever be possible.

The student urged the Authority to look past a strict interpretation of the requirement and instead read the statute in line with the modern-day realities of remote learning in a post covid world.

The Appeal Authority agreed that she was entitled to a student allowance as she was not a part time student.

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel unfairly disadvantaged due to the strict wording of a statute or policy, it pays to speak to a legal professional with experience in that area of law.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.