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Students barred from graduating due to unpaid fines

Disclosure date: 10 March 2014

Reference: FOI2014/036

Request

I am writing to you from the SOAS Spirit in regards to the SOAS practice of barring students, who have fines, from graduating.

Would you be able to provide me with the figures for the last 5 years of how many students faced this penalty. Or students who were delayed in receiving results due to unpaid debts.

Response

There were no SOAS students in the last five years who did not receive a degree because of unpaid fines.

Once a fine is paid the record of any student whose results were delayed is overwritten; the Examination department has never kept a spreadsheet of when students clear debts as any queries received will relate to named individuals and a search of the department’s email account can be carried out.

The only way that to check the number of students who had results delayed in the past 5 years would be to go through hundreds of email chains.

The appropriate limit over which public authorities are permitted to refuse requests is £450, with staff time calculated on the basis of £25 an hour. This means that the limit in terms of staff time is 18 hours.

To gather and reproduce all of the requested information would cost significantly more than the £450 limit, and we are therefore unable to provide this information.