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If you're thinking of coming back to the UK for further or higher education read this!

(29 Posts)
thisthreadwilloutme Wed 03-Oct-12 22:03:42

We lived abroad for 3 years and came back in time for dd to start primary education. We have lots of friends who plan to send kids home for university education who are now facing up to 18000 pounds fees per year because the children have not been resident in the UK for the last three years.

Definitely something worth looking into if either you or your children want to do a university or college course of any type when you get home. Lots of info on

dikkertjedap Wed 03-Oct-12 22:19:16

Does the same apply if they have been staying in another EU country????

Alligatorpie Wed 03-Oct-12 22:26:32

Interesting. Dh has always said he wants our dd's to have the choice about where to go to uni, but not at that price. But dd1 is six, so things may change by the time she is ready to go.

natation Wed 03-Oct-12 22:27:02

It's relevant if you are outside the EU. If you're inside the EU but outside the UK, you instead get the right to free higher education in Scotland at the moment, whereas if you were previously resident in England, you'd be paying fees for the "English". So sometimes it works in a positive way to be outside the UK, depends on where you go to live and for how long.

thisthreadwilloutme Wed 03-Oct-12 22:33:40

If you have been living in the EU for the last three years you will pay the normal rates in England, but as natation says you are better off in Scotland. However if you have been outside the EU as we were you would be paying substantially higher rates!

thisthreadwilloutme Wed 03-Oct-12 22:35:59

Alligatorpie check which country you might be living in when your dd is at university. Many degrees are not recognized in the UK from certain countries or you have to pay to get your qualification transferred, but that is not too expensive.

CaliforniaLeaving Wed 03-Oct-12 22:52:06

It's if you have been outside of the EU. Any EU resident citizens can get home fees at UK uni's, but not expats. If you haven't lived in the UK (not for educational purposes, so can't send them for boarding school for three years)
But some get away with it if the family are on temp assignment, no permanent resident type situation, so on a renewable contract.
But we are in US, green cards and citizenship so we are going to be paying international fees for our 18 year old in UK, still cheaper than here in California, Ds 1 went to Uni here and it was $39,000 a year before the government grants and scholarships. Still cost us $20,000 and him $20,000 in loans over the 4 years.

MarjorieAntrobus Wed 03-Oct-12 23:07:12

Depends on your status.

We live overseas, so when DS was doing A levels and applying to UK universities we had to supply a lot of info to his chosen university to establish home status. It was all quite straightforward because we have a UK property and an intention to return to the UK.

thisthreadwilloutme Wed 03-Oct-12 23:20:10

It also depends on the university. Some will accept others won't it seems.

mummytime Wed 03-Oct-12 23:39:47

40k dollars is about £25000, so is cheaper than the £27000 that a home UK student pays in fees, an overseas student pays about double, and that is not including any cost of living. Also foreign students aren't entitled to student loans, even expats. If you are foreign you may have not right to work in the UK either, that could include some expat kids.

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 04-Oct-12 00:24:39

27,000 gbp per year? I thought it had gone to 9,000 gbp per year in UK

AdoraBell Thu 04-Oct-12 03:29:59

Thanks for posting this, we were arguing talking about this today. Long story short it might mean OH's son (previous marriage) went to Uni for 5 years but his daughters won't get any opportunity to goangry I'm starting to do my own research to find out what I need to do.

Alligatorpie Thu 04-Oct-12 04:45:33

Calileaving - I think £27000 is for a 3 year degree, but I could be wrong.

OP, our dd's have Canadian / UK citizenship, so the choice would mainly be between there, unless they wanted to study internationally...they may also have the travel bug!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 04-Oct-12 05:03:58

I take it you mean if your DC live abroad the 3 years leading up to applying for university?

thisthreadwilloutme Thu 04-Oct-12 06:06:44

No it means any of the three years. We have been back 12 months but wouldn't be eligible for home fees at we haven't been in the UK for the last 3 years.

Want2bSupermum Thu 04-Oct-12 14:50:50

This has been a common problem and it was why a lot of parents who lived abroad put their children in boarding school from 13 onwards.

I was born in Canada and applied for DD to have Canadian citizenship last year when she was born. Tuition is much cheaper than the US and the UK.

California Wld you be able to do the first two years at community college and then transfer to state college for the remaining 2 years? Here in NJ that is what most families are doing these days. Certain programs have direct links with schools such as NYU (I know Bergen county community college has a direct link). If DD insists on going local she will be doing community college but my primary plan is to ship her up to Canada!

The other thing to remember is that tuition at colleges here in the US is not what most people pay. They take into account the income, expenses and assets of the parents and adjust the fees accordingly. The difference is made up through funds from their endowment fund. DH's boss earns almost $1M a year and lives in a $2M home. His daughter is at Yale and he pays for living expenses only. They could afford the fees but as they will have 3 children (the others are at med and law school) in college at the same time Yale gave them a break on the tuition.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Thu 04-Oct-12 14:57:35

I'm confused. We're currently in US with DS 4yrs and DD 10mo, planning on coming home in roughly 3yrs, so DS will be a few years into primary and DD about to start, surely by the time they turn 18 they'll be eligible for home fees?

titchy Thu 04-Oct-12 15:17:08

Girlwithmousyhair - it's really not confusing confused Your dcs will have lived in UK for three years before they start university so they'll pay home fees.

Unless they are thinking of going to unviesity within three years of your return (so when your oldest is under 10)....

CaliforniaLeaving Thu 04-Oct-12 16:24:30

Ds1 already finished US Uni (Went to private Uni to guarantee getting finished in 4 years) Ds2 is in UK he's decided to take a gap year and is working, and will start his UK foundation degree next year. International fees for us £7,500 per year.
Lots of Ds2 friends have gone to community college, then say they are going on to 4 year. The ones we know end who did this have ended up taking 5 and 6 years to get the 4 year degree done, full classes, over crowding and not being able to get the clesses yu need for graduation is just getting ridiculous here.

Want2bSupermum Fri 05-Oct-12 22:19:04

I didn't know it was that bad in CA. Here in NJ they have pumped a lot of money into the community colleges but also had the community colleges work with 4 year colleges to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. I have to say I was impressed with community colleges I went to in NJ. When I sat my accounting classes there were no more than 25 in a class and we didn't really have lectures because of the content. Those teaching had a lot of practical experience and were very supportive of any questions we had about jobs, working as well as the academic side.

Bluestocking Fri 05-Oct-12 22:27:30

I suspect the differential between home fees and international fees at UK universities will disappear within the next three to five years. The difference was connected with the subsidy that universities received from the government for each home student, which is being removed with the new £9000 fee regime.

mummytime Fri 05-Oct-12 22:31:53

BTW if people sent their kids to UK boarding schools to try to avoid overseas fees it has for a long time beena huge mistake. There is a lot of case law to show that years spent at boarding school do not count as "normally resident", although,amybe if the family also comes back every summer to thefamilyhome,that might count.

LadyPlainJane Sat 06-Oct-12 01:19:05

The official info is here

We were overseas for 16 years as ex-pats and only returned to the UK two years before our eldest DC was due to start Uni. We figured that if we couldn't get home fee status for her we would either pay the overseas rate or get her to take a gap year. She decided to study medicine so the overseas rate would have been ridiculous and it is extremely hard to get a place at medical school as a foreign student as there are quotas restricting the numbers of non UK students. She also preferred not to take a gap year.

Our situation was not clear cut, we did not own a house in the UK and in our last country paid local taxes. We did come back to the UK at least once a year and my husbands contract/pension etc was Uk based. Also, we were paid as expats and got our houses, cars,schooling etc and flights home paid for.

What we discovered is that each Uni can interpret the Rules differently and that some Uni's will not confirm whether or not you will get Home Fee Status until after you have accepted a place confused

Fortunately, it all came together perfectly and my DD got into her first choice Uni which happened to be the most helpful with regards to clarifying my DD's fee status. They went through all our paperwork before we applied and confirmed that we should be OK. <<big sigh of relief all round>>

The best advice is to keep a property in the UK, maintain UK bank accounts, visit regularly (and keep proof) make sure your work contracts are UK based and clearly 'ex-pat' contracts and to keep an eye on the ever changing legislation.

It's crazy that each Uni decides how to interpret the rules themselves. One of the Uni representatives said it was not that unusual for two different Uni's to give a student a different fee status shock

fussychica Tue 09-Oct-12 15:46:04

We lived in Spain for 8 years and son was classed as a "home" student as his parents (us) had "exercised the right to roam" within the EU. We came back when he did but didn't have to. We hadn't retained a property in the UK but did have bank accounts etc. He receives both tuition fees and maintenance loans. I checked this out on several occasions with Student Finance well before making the move back as if he hadn't been eligible as a "home" student we couldn't have financed his study in the UK.

MOSagain Tue 09-Oct-12 15:50:41

I think it depends on the circumstances and the Uni.
DS lived abroad with DH and myself for 3 years and did his GCSEs abroad, returning to the UK for A levels. We heard the rumours about having to pay fees as an overseas student as he was only in the UK for 2 years prior to starting University but he was not treated as an overseas student.

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