Student found dead after paying £1,000 to university but was ‘too poor to study’

A student has been found dead after posting a series of troubling tweets about being unable to afford university.

The family of Rory Wood, from Hereford, say he had lost “his battle with his brain” and hoped that increased awareness of mental illness would be his legacy.

His cause of death has not been announced, but a pal claimed in a viral tweet that Rory had taken his own life because of the “hopelessness of his situation”.

Rory, 27, who was a podcaster, gave the University of Manchester a £1000 deposit for a Masters degree but then was unable to afford living expenses.

Police said he was first reported missing just after 2am on Monday having failed to return home from work and he died the following day.

One of his final tweets said: “I lost one grand in a deposit to a university because, while I met the offer requirements, it became clear that I hadn’t made nearly enough money to fund the living costs after two years saving in full time work. There were no university fees in this country until 1998 btw.”

He added on his @thekafkadude account: “Everything just feels impossible and unliveable.”

Rory’s friend Phoca Vitulina alleged the university had rejected his application – but the University of Manchester has denied this.

She tweeted: “So Manchester University took an applicants £1k, rejected their application because they can’t make living costs, and didn’t give the money back.

“This applicant, a friend, then dies by suicide because of his absolute hopelessness of his situation. It’s absolutely scandalous.”

The University of Manchester said records showed the prospective student’s application ‘is still open’ and was ‘not rejected by the University’.

They added in a statement that they could not find any record suggesting any request for a refund.

Rory’s family have since shared their heartbreak over his death in a tribute shared on Twitter.

They said: “Thank you for all your love for our beautiful son, brother, nephew and cousin, Rory.

“We are completely humbled and overwhelmed by the messages of support on Twitter.

“We realise that there are people on here that truly loved him and the fact that he made your days just a little bit brighter brings a smile to our faces in these tragic times.

“Rory may not have mentioned it on here but he has always had loving and supportive friends and family that tried everything to help him but his battle with his brain sadly overcame him.

“We ask that Rory’s legacy is the increased awareness of mental illness – please all look after yourselves and always remember to speak out.

“Rory completing his bachelors degree in politics, philosophy and economics last week was one of the proudest moments of our lives.

“We will never stop loving you Rory x.”

In full, the University of Manchester statement said: “We are very aware of the upsetting reports online about a student applicant and are looking into what has been said as a matter of urgency.

“Out of respect we are not commenting further as yet but, if confirmed, we extend our utmost sympathy. We can confirm that a place was successfully secured for a Master’s at the University.

“According to our records this application is still open and wasn’t withdrawn by the applicant and has not been rejected by the University.

“From our initial enquiries, we can find no record or email correspondence suggesting any request for a refund or further request for help.”

West Mercia Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding Rory’s death and an inquest is expected to take place.

A spokesperson said: “Rory Wood was first reported missing just after 2am on Monday 25 July having failed to return home from work. Sadly, on Tuesday 26 July, it was confirmed that Rory had passed away.

“There is not believed to be any third party involvement, and his next of kin have been informed. A report will now be prepared for the coroner.”