Sophie Bostridge, who studies in England but has not named the school she attends, shared her experience on TikTok, writing: “Think they forget they put me on a law degree, sis I’m born to argue.”
In a clip set to “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift, Bostridge showed the email she had written to her university. Bostridge said she had been told the school did not offer extensions for extenuating circumstances in any cases, but instead offered “concessions.”
The law student explained in a follow-up video that these concessions would allow her to submit her work seven days later but, when she inspected the policy, she found her application could be rejected and leave her having to do two terms worth of work at once. This would be difficult, she explained, because she is taking an accelerated degree—two years instead of three—and already has a heavier workload than the typical law student.
This is where her legal skills came into play. Her first TikTok clip, showing her email to the university, has been watched more than 700,000 times in two days.
The letter begins: “What do you offer extensions for then? Because it’s not stated anywhere I can find.
“I don’t particularly want to go down the route of a concession as many universities have policies for exceptional circumstance, which wouldn’t a woman losing a child be that? So does [this university] have this or are we just missing out a vital part of the compassion from the entire university programme?”
Bostridge also pointed out that she was the student representative for her course, so had a responsibility to other students who found themselves in a similar situation.
She wrote: “If we have no policies for women who are suffering from pregnancy complications or miscarriages or for men at our university who may be suffering their partner losing their baby, then I’d like to take action as I do believe this is probably something the university should have in place like the majority of universities in this country do.”
In the comments on her clip, Bostridge confirmed that “they weren’t understanding at all that I had a mc so I’m not hopeful if I put in a concession they’ll allow it.”
Other TikTok commenters said they had faced similar problems at universities across England, with one writing: “I asked for an extension when I gave birth and they said no.”
Another posted: “[My] university denied me an extension for going into labour at 25 weeks unless I could attend in person to explain why I needed it.”
Now, after the encouragement of other TikTokers, Bostridge is hoping to persuade the university to change its policy on extenuating circumstances.
“I just want the policy changed now for anyone suffering anything like what I have,” she wrote in the comments. “Maybe I’ll have to do a campaign.”
In a separate comment, Bostridge confirmed that her course leader had been “lovely” and supported her call for a change in policy.
“I’m hoping to start a petition to have them take it more seriously,” she wrote.
Newsweek has contacted Bostridge for further comment.