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UK university home fees

(14 Posts)
motherofstudents Tue 19-Aug-14 19:22:32

I have been told by a regular to come over here and ask for Mumsnet wisdom. My daughter is a UK citizen but we have lived around the world for twenty years. The last two and half years have been in the EU but not the UK.

Daughter has been offered a place for September at a UK university. The rules seem to be that she has to be resident in the UK/ EU for three years before being eligible for a) home fees and b) fee and/or maintenance loans.

So if she takes her place in September, as she is desperate to do, it looks as though she has to pay overseas fees and get no loans of any kind. Absolutely impossible for us financially.

My questions are 1) If she defers until September (having then been in the EU for more than three years) will she DEFINITELY be eligible for home fees? Her University say probably but they don't know.

2) Is there ANY way around this so she can go to University this September as a UK student with home fees and a loan?

3) Her university say that she has to stick with the status she enters with. So if she starts as an overseas student, she has to stay with that for the four years. Is that definitely true? We could manage to send her this September as an overseas student if we knew that we could switch her fee and loan status in February.

Thank you to anyone who has any knowledge and takes the time to reply.

My Ds starts college in UK this September, we have to pay for this year as he's only been in the UK for two years. The college admission sent him a letter saying after this first year he will not be charged as he will have been here three years. So he has accepted his place and my bank balance will be the lighter for it. confused

VegasIsBest Tue 19-Aug-14 23:15:35

My questions are 1) If she defers until September (having then been in the EU for more than three years) will she DEFINITELY be eligible for home fees? Her University say probably but they don't know.

REPLY -
Do you mean if she defers to September 2015?
Check the student finance England website. I believe you have to be resident in the UK or EU for three years at least to pay Home/EU fees.

2) Is there ANY way around this so she can go to University this September as a UK student with home fees and a loan?

REPLY -
There are some specific regulations. Eg if you've been overseas on government business. Again see the SFE website. Otherwise the logic is that you haven't been a UK taxpayer, so you won't get UK benefits.

3) Her university say that she has to stick with the status she enters with. So if she starts as an overseas student, she has to stay with that for the four years. Is that definitely true? We could manage to send her this September as an overseas student if we knew that we could switch her fee and loan status in February.

REPLY -
The university's advice is correct. Fee status is assessed at the start of the course and stays the same throughout.

Sounds like she's had good advice from the university and you need to follow it.

Well done to your daughter on getting her place.

EBearhug Tue 19-Aug-14 23:24:47

< waves >

I'd have said suggested rather than told. smile

foodfairy Wed 20-Aug-14 03:40:45

I have only second hand knowledge but friend returned with her son for him to do a levels having lived aboard all his life. He was accepted to start university in 2013 and they struggled massively to get local fees and loans.

They were told many things but in the end got local conditions through showing that he had on going links to the uk ( they showed airlines tickets with trips back every summer). It was a struggle and stressful but they I'd manage to do this without taking gap year which was back up plan. Not sure ethically about it as friend didnt pay uk taxes for well over 20 years if this was right but there do seem to be ways around it.

windowtree Wed 20-Aug-14 08:45:07

Look up "Right to Roam" legislation - it explains what to do if you have been in EU. Deferring a year would be best option to fully meet criteria. Hope this helps - and congratulations to your DD smile

See this from UCAS finance :

“If a British citizen living in an EU country, can we apply for maintenance grants as well as finance as a 'home' student would? I was told ‘yes’ as I have the right to roam around EU countries but have also heard conflicting information. Thanks.”
British students do have the ‘right to roam’ around the EU, meaning that as long as they’ve been resident within EU countries for 3 years prior to 1 September 2013 they can still apply for same student finance as home students.

motherofstudents Wed 20-Aug-14 11:21:26

Hi, EBearhug - told was meant in the the 'Told what a wonderful idea it would be to go to Mumsnet!' sense.

Thanks, all, for the info and it confirms what we are being told everywhere. She should defer to Sep 2015 and then she will have been in the EU zone for three full years and gets both home fees and at minimum the ability to borrow the course fees even if not the living allowance loan.

Squinkles, you say you have to pay your son's college just for the first year. I assume that is a slightly different situation to whether you are paying home fees or overseas fees and therefore the rules are not applicable to us. I'd love to hear differently!

motherofstudents Wed 20-Aug-14 11:24:40

Thanks, by the way, windowtree. She did brilliantly, was tremendously excited to go through clearing and have universities giving her immediate offers over the phone without even looking at her personal statement and had accepted her best offer. She is now crushed that she has to wait as she was geared up to go.

But as a summer birthday she will still only be barely 19 when she starts and learning patience wont harm her, though it seems a lifetime to her right now.

fussychica Wed 20-Aug-14 16:45:09

Hard for her now but it will be worth the wait.

DS had been living in Spain since age 10 and came back to UK university and gets full SF support under right to roam rules. EU team at SF were incredibly helpful - nothing like the experience we have had with the rest of SF since!

Good luck to your DD.

I was in a similar situation 10 years ago when applying. In the end I waited an extra year. Regulations may have changed but back then they stated that you had to have been ordinarily resident in the EU for three years prior to the start of the course for purposes other than education, so if your DD was studyig this year it wouldn't count as residency for fee purposes. You also can't change your fee status mid course.

Forgot to say, good luck to your DD.

Out of interest, approx. how much would the international student fees be? We'll be facing this in,.....11yrs and have started saving for it as we have no clue where we'll be living or where DC will go to Uni.

motherofstudents Thu 21-Aug-14 21:27:31

Thanks, fussy and altered. She appreciates the good wishes!

The difference AT PRESENT is 9000 for home students and 15,600 for overseas.

But I hear an election may change things. Cameron was talking about 12,000 for home students and may I suppose change the proportion of the difference if he so chooses.

homeaway Sat 30-Aug-14 12:37:23

If she has has lived in the EU for this time then she will pay the 9000 Fees same as a UK student, the 15,600 I think would be for the International students which is different.

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