‘There’s so much anxiety’ - Bristol University student left in limbo by loan battle

  • Watch Ellie Barker's report.

A Bristol University student said she needed treatment for anxiety after battling to obtain a loan.

Kyra Morris moved to the UK from South Africa with her family six years ago to study. They applied for a settled status but this has been delayed by the pandemic.

That delay meant she missed the university's deadline to apply for a loan, and the family have now run up huge debts trying to pay for Kyra's tuition.

They are now facing the prospect of debt collectors.

Kyra with her parents Gareth and Kim Morris.

Kyra has wanted to study astrophysics since she was 13-years-old, and said it was a "dream come true" when she secured a place at Bristol University.

She is now at the end of her first year, but said the continuous battle for a student loan has been a nightmare.

“It’s been really stressful, especially now with it being exam season," she said.

"I had to see a CBT therapist because my anxiety has become so bad. There’s just so much anxiety.”

Kyra's dad, Gareth, said the family were really upset by the situation because they had "shaped their lives around this moment."

The university had accepted the fact there was a delay in Kyra's loan process and has allowed her to continue studying.

However, eight months have now passed and - despite contacting the Department for Education - the university still does not have payment.

“Before they actually granted Kyra the latest extension, they said they are getting to the point where they might have to hand this over to a debt collection agency," Gareth added.

"This has not happened yet, thankfully. The university has been very understanding of the situation.”

The family has been supported by their local MP Wera Hobhouse.

The Liberal Democrat for Bath said: “Never forget that we are people and it is how fairly we treat other human beings.

Kyra is hoping that a solution can be found.

In a statement, the Department for Education said: "The Student Loans Company has correctly applied the regulations passed by Parliament in this case.”

The family are not giving up and say they will continue to try to solve this problem in the hope their daughter's dreams will come true.

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