Brits living abroad with DCs in UK universities....

(17 Posts)
RandomFriend Mon 17-Aug-15 14:15:18

....which fees do you pay and which loans, if any, could you get?

Prompted by another thread and the difficulty in getting accurate information, I thought I'd ask mumsnetters. I have assumed that DD will pay home fees and will get a student loan for her fees and maintenance at a UK university, despite the fact that we living overseas.

If you (or rather, your DCs) are British, holding a British passport conferring "Right of Abode" in the UK and are enrolled at a UK university, please could you tell me:

1. Do you pay home, EU or International fees?
2. Could your DC get a loan for tuition fees?
3. Could your DC get a maintenance loan?
4. Where are you living now? (eg, EU or not-EU).
5. Did you have to argue for your fee status?

If you are willing to share the name of the university, please do so or feel free to PM me if you are willing to share but not publicly.

OP’s posts: |
BecksTroll Mon 17-Aug-15 14:18:45

Watching with interest as I read somewhere that the kids have to have been resident backnij the UK for three years first to be eligible for home rather than overseas rates. But also are not eligible for Scotland as they are British.

BecksTroll Mon 17-Aug-15 14:19:22

back in
3 years pre application

spinoa Mon 17-Aug-15 14:59:16

1. Home and EU fees at undergraduate level are the same (by EU law). That's why EU students have to have the same fees in Scotland as Scottish students even though the rest of the UK pays a different rate for Scottish courses.

2/3/4. All EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the EU for three years before starting university are treated the same as UK students, i.e. are eligible for tuition and maintenance loans. Ordinarily resident excludes kids who were at boarding schools in the EU but whose home address is not in the EU.

EU citizens who were not ordinarily resident in the EU for three years before starting university are not eligible for home fees, and are not eligible for loans.

5. EU nationals who are resident outside the EU can try to argue that they have joint ordinary residence in the EU and another country, and thence should be classed as home fees. This is not an easy argument to win. It is particularly hard to win if you pay tax entirely in the non-EU country, don't own a house in the EU, don't spend much time in a house you own in the EU etc etc.

(Academic here, rather than parent.)

spinoa Mon 17-Aug-15 15:03:07

Sorry for 2/3/4 EU students get tuition fee loans but not maintenance loans.

AuntieStella Mon 17-Aug-15 15:08:40

If you are outside the EU, and have been away from UK for longer than the qualifying period (3 years before the start of the course) then you have no eligibility for home fees/loans.

Accurate information can be found on the UKCISA website:

If you can demonstrate that your non-EU residence was temporary (need cast-iron evidence from employer), or that you were 'settled' in UK as much as you were settled elsewhere (ie living equal time in both places) for the 3 year qualifying period, then you could be eligible.

RandomFriend Mon 17-Aug-15 16:01:26

spinoa, thanks! Do you know if UK nationals who have been resident in the EU are also eligible for maintenance loans? The rules are clear for EU nationals; for UK nationals living in the UK; and for UK nationals living outside the EU.

Or has any UK national living in the EU managed to get a maintenance loan as well as a tuition loan?

OP’s posts: |


BecksTroll Mon 17-Aug-15 16:11:08

Okay. So hypothetical question:

What if you reside in the EU but were born in the UK, you still have British passport and citizenship but have spent all your life in EU including qualifications. Can you apply to Scotland as an EU resident or are you ineligible due to having English birth certificate and if you change citizenship are you still ineligible?

Just to can apply from EU for home fees rate in the UK if resident in the EU, can access a Student Loan but tuition only, is that correct?

titchy Mon 17-Aug-15 16:21:21

Nationality, passport etc have no bearing - where you are resident is the key issue. So a British citizen with British passport living in France for over three years with no link to UK does NOT get maintenance loan. They are EU for loan purposes. The advantage is they will also be EU fee status in Scotland - so fee free. Parents will have to stump up living costs though.

spinoa Mon 17-Aug-15 16:45:31

As a UK national living in the EU you are only eligible for maintenance loans if you are ordinarily resident in the three years prior to starting the course. AS above it is very very hard to get such a status unless you are really living half the time in the UK, parents working for a UK company in Europe, paying tax in the UK etc etc.

(Note that your status does not change during the course i.e. you don't get maintenance loans for the fourth year of a course on the basis that you spent the previous three years in the UK.)

BecksTroll Mon 17-Aug-15 16:47:53

Thank you flowers
As it stands I am looking five years ahead and things can and do change. I just wanted to know what options DD1 has.
Currently, either applying to study in Scotland and we pay her living expenses OR doing a degree in Germany and we pay her living expenses. Either way, I think we're paying her living expenses wink

Thisissomething Mon 17-Aug-15 16:51:45

We were not elibilble for any maintance loan. No problem with a student loan (eu).

pastaofplenty Mon 17-Aug-15 18:18:58


We are in this position.

DD is about to start at university this September (English university) we have lived in EU for ten years. In answer to your query:

1. Do you pay home, EU or International fees?
Home fees - enitled to full Tuition Loan from SFE

2. Could your DC get a loan for tuition fees?
Yes - see above - for full amount

3. Could your DC get a maintenance loan?
Yes - full loan from SFE

4. Where are you living now? (eg, EU or not-EU).

5. Did you have to argue for your fee status?
No SFE were well aware of situation but you have to quote "right to roam" legislation, have a British passport and a National Insurance Number. Though the NI number can be applied for after applying to SFE. It is a bit long-winded but process is easy enough and the SFE helpline are well versed in students who have been brought up (at parents choice) away from UK.

I'd also add that DD is also entitled to a maintenance grant and a bursary from the university (as we are on lower income)

Hope this helps

fussychica Mon 17-Aug-15 19:27:39

Pastaofplenty is right. DS has had full support under the "right to roam" legislation. We did move back to the Uk when he went to university but we didn't need to -though it was just as well we did as he was hospitalised shock just after he started

RandomFriend Tue 18-Aug-15 12:54:52

Pastaofplenty, thank you, that helps a lot. Essentially, that is what I had expected for DD.

Three extra questions, if I may:

Is the NI number needed yours or your DD's? (I have one, but DD does not.)
Did you have to inform UCAS of a change of address?
Did your DD already have a UK bank account?

As soon as DD makes up her mind about whether she is taking up her place at Uni1 or going to Uni2 for a different course through adjustment, she can apply to SFE.

OP’s posts: |
pastaofplenty Tue 18-Aug-15 14:04:41

Hi RandomFriend

Happy to answer questions - and feel free to PM me if you want.

The NI is DD's - she applied for it about ten months ago. She needed to give UK passport number and send copy of birth certificate. They may have asked my NI as well but can't remember.

I've not informed UCAS of any change of address (not changed one so no need) - all correspondence with DD has been done electronically aside from SFE who have sent letters.

No DD didn't have UK account - this has been hardest to sort out (but for other reasons - DD is not 18 yet) . However you can open one with passport, UCAS confirmation letter, SFE letter, Provisional Driving licence and NHS Health card

Hope this helps


nemno Tue 18-Aug-15 19:55:02

I thought it might be useful to mention that although we thought our DCs did not have NI numbers it was actually very straightforward to get them because they had at one time received Child Benefit. No visiting the Job centre with documents needed, we just provided the child benefit numbers over the phone.

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