Change of Financial Support Rules for EU, other EEA and Swiss Students:
Two days ago, Michelle Donelan, the Minister of State for Universities confirmed that the eligibility rules for EEA student would be changing. Accordingly, these changes will apply to EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family members, who wish to commence courses in England in the Academic Year starting in August 2021.
Home or Overseas Fees
There are two levels of fees at publicly funded educational institutions: ‘home’ fee and a higher ‘overseas’ fee. Private sector institutions often have only one level of tuition fee, which all students must pay.
Currently, all EEA and Swiss national students pay the ‘home fees. ’
How Much are ‘Overseas’ Fees?
‘Overseas’ fees can be somewhere between £3,500 to £18,000 per year. It depends on the institution, the level and the type of the course. If you are or were a student, you probably noticed that the fee increase each year. It depends on inflation.
When a student applies, the institution asks to provide more information themselves, their family and other circumstances. This information will help them to check if the student will fit into the ‘home fee’ category. Once they’ve undertaken the initial assessment, they’ll ask the student to provide documents (for example, a passport or official letters) to support the information they provided.
In the 2021–2022 academic year the EEA and Swiss national students will no longer be able to benefit from ‘home fee’ status. This change will apply to undergraduate, postgraduate, and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England. Also, it includes Further Education funding for students aged 19+ and funding for apprenticeships.
Who is Not Affected?
These changes will NOT affect those beginning courses in the 2020–2021 academic year. Therefore, these changes will not apply to EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively, nor to Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland.
As a result, the students will preserve their right to study and to access benefits and services on a reciprocal basis for the UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.
Students who Started in 2017/18
The UK government confirmed that EEA and Swiss national students (and their family members) who started studying in 2017/18 and who are eligible for loans/grants, will be eligible for ‘home’ fee status for the duration of their study. In other words, they’ll need to pay the same amount as the UK students.
Students who started in 2018/19
The same arrangements are true for students who enrolled in 2018-19.
Students who started in 2019/20
Finally, according to the UK Council for International Students Affairs, the Scottish Parliament has confirmed that it will extend its 2017/18 and 2018/19 commitment to the 2019/20 cohort. It means that all eligible non-UK EU citizens who come to Scotland to study for an undergraduate higher education qualification in 2019/20 will benefit from free tuition”.
England has confirmed the same funding package, as for 2018/19 and before, for EU students commencing study in 2019/20. It means they will “continue to be eligible for ‘home fee status’. It means they will be charged the same tuition fees as UK students.
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