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University fees when student has lived abroad for 6 years?

(10 Posts)
flumperoo Sun 18-Sep-11 15:33:57


My ds is thinking about returning to the UK to go to university next year. We'll have lived in SE Asia for 6 years. Does this mean he would be counted as an overseas student ie have to pay International Student fees? Would he be entitled to the usual loans? Would it make a difference if I also returned to the UK or stayed abroad? I'm a single parent and earn just over 20,000GBP. No contact with his father.

I have looked on various websites but can't find any clear, relevant information. Just wondering if anyone here has been faced with similar.

Any advice would be appreciated smile

Lilymaid Sun 18-Sep-11 15:37:46

I think your DS would definitely be an overseas student. See here for details of eligibility.

EdithWeston Sun 18-Sep-11 15:39:22

The UK Council for Student Affairs has information on this. To qualify for the home student rate (England/Wales) you need to be normally resident in UK for 3 years before the start of the course.

EdithWeston Sun 18-Sep-11 15:40:09

X-posts! Same link.

flumperoo Sun 18-Sep-11 15:48:37

Thank you for the link. It is one that I have looked at. Can anyone clarify this quote from there?:

If you can demonstrate that you have not been ordinarily resident in the relevant residence area only because you were, or your ‘relevant family member’ was, temporarily working outside the relevant residence area, you will be treated as though you have been ordinarily resident for the period during which this was the case.

Does this mean that because we have been living abroad for my job, then ds would count as a home student? That is how it reads to me, but my brain is fuddled! grin

EdithWeston Sun 18-Sep-11 16:05:58

I'm not sure - and it might be worth emailing them with your exact circumstances to find out.

IIRC: that provision covers people like Armed Forces families, and temporary deployments from companies. I don't know how long "temporary" can be extended to - though I think twice the qualifying period (as your stated absence suggests would be pushing it). Is your employer a UK company which posts staff to other locations? Would they provide supporting documentation to that effect? Do you pay UK tax and (class 3?) NI?

homeaway Sun 18-Sep-11 19:36:29

We have lived abroad for a long time and the kids were born abroad in Europe, my two are just off to uni now in the UK and they are paying UK fees as they are living in the European Union. I would suspect that as you are living in Asia you would pay international students rates. Why dont you ring the admissions of the universities you are interested in to find out ?

flumperoo Tue 20-Sep-11 12:14:55

Thank you for your messages. I managed to talk to some colleagues today who have been in the same situation. It seems that a student can be classed as being a home student, even after living abroad for several years. Essentially though, it is at the discretion of individual Universities, with some being stricter than others, so I need to do some research regarding that. I would need a letter from my employer stating that my contract is temporary, which isn't a problem, and the fact that we return to the UK yearly also helps. I'm not currently paying NI contributions though, so think I'll look into re-starting that.

It seems ironic that I moved abroad because I was struggling so much financially in the UK due to paying off huge debts which I accrued whilst being at University as a single parent - I sometimes wonder if uni was worth it!

IdontknowwhyIcare Tue 27-Sep-11 09:52:54

Good luck flumperoo. My understanding is that currently home status depends on how much the uni wants your child if you dont meet the criteria as Edith Weston lists ie people with a forced move rather than taking a job because of other reasons.

We will be in the same position as you. There is no chance of DH employer giving him a letter as he doesnt work for a UK company abroad (IYSWIM). Sadly as we cant afford the 26k pa tuition fees it seems like DS wont be going to uni :-( I dont think I'll be telling him that yet whilst we try and work something out. It does seem odd to me that all those overseas students have parents who can afford such HUGE sums of money.

electra44 Tue 27-Sep-11 10:37:08

As well as a letter of support from your employer, owning/keeping a house in the UK which is available to you - ie not rented out, supports your application as does any paperwork or evidence to indicate that you are overseas for a finite period and intend to return. It is without doubt worth trying as this is a real grey area, designed, i guess to support the children of the armed forces, foreign office and employees of companies who send staff overseas on postings I have lived overseas - outside the EU -for 15 years and have many aquaintances who fulfill none of the stated criteria, who do not work for UK or EU based companies, children were born overseas and who intend never to return. I can count on the fingers of one hand those who have failed to gain home status, though there have been a few instances where home status has been refused at the student's first choice university. Good luck

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