Student finance for eu students 2021/22
Due to Brexit, the UK government has confirmed that the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss students will lose their home fee status from this year in autumn of 2021. This may also affect student finance for EU students in the UK.
“Following our decision to leave the EU, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in the academic year 2021/22. This change will also apply to Further Education funding for those aged 19+, and funding for apprenticeships.”
But what happens as a result of this announcement?
And how will it affect international students who are already studying or plan to enroll at a UK university in the near future ?
As we discuss these implications along the line and their impact, remember that it only affects England, Scotland, and Wales; Northern Ireland has not yet made any official announcements for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.
The implication of higher tuition fees for EU/EEA and Swiss students…
Students who have been coming from the EU/EEA and Switzerland have been paying the same tuition fees as students throughout the UK.
Public universities throughout England, for instance, the tuition fees for undergraduate (Bachelor’s) programmes were capped at £9,250 for the academic year. In Wales, the limit was capped at £9,000 per academic year. In Scotland, Bachelor programmes were technically free for all UK and EU/EEA students.
However, this won’t be the case anymore.
From 1 August 2021 onwards, these benefits will only apply to national students who reside in the UK. For other students abroad, tuition fees will go up. In some cases, they can be 2, 3 or in some cases 4 times higher. This can range from £30,000 – £40,000 per year depending on the university and degree that the student is going for. The tuition can be more expensive at private universities or institutions.
Students have always been able to check out the two different types of tuition available whether it is national or international and see which one fits. Even now, you can look at the current tuition fees at public UK universities and see what you can expect to pay from the following years.
For instance, EU/EEA students would pay 12,968 EUR per year for a Master’s degree in Egyptology. This will no longer be the case from 2021 when they’ll have to cover the full international tuition, which is around 29,000 EUR per year.
On the other end of the spectrum, universities and colleges could also decide to lower tuition fees for international students. We don’t know yet if they’re considering this approach, but there will certainly be updates if anything changes regarding this issue.
EU/EEA and Swiss students will lose UK student finance
The second major implication of Brexit is that all students coming from the EU/EEA and Switzerland will no longer be able to apply for Student Finance in the UK for EU students from 2021.
Student finance has been helping national and overseas students who wouldn’t be able to pay for their tuition under normal circumstances. 2020 is unfortunately the last year when students from outside of the UK can apply for loans through Student Finance. If you’ll start studying this year or have started in either 2019 or 2018 and will finish in the year of 2021 or later, you’ll still benefit from student finance until the end of your studies.
Maintenance Loan for EU Students
A maintenance loan is there to help with living costs whilst studying in the UK.
EU students who have lived in the UK for the duration of five years are eligible to receive maintenance support. The amount a student receives is dependent on where they live and study.
Maintenance loans must be paid back, but not until the individual has graduated and is earning over £25,000 per year.
Additional Financial Support
Extra financial help and support is also available to those if they have any of the below;
- Have children
- Have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty
- Are studying nursing, midwifery or other NHS related courses
COVID-19 update on Student finance EU students in uk
In the year of 2021 and 2022, if your course will involve studying online for the majority of the time rather than attending classes on-site at your uni or college, you’ll still be entitled to student finance for EU students.
If you’re unable to be in the UK at the start of the academic year, you’ll still be eligible for UK Student Finance. Your Tuition Fee Loan will be paid to your institution each term once they confirm your attendance, even if you’ve been studying online outside the UK.
This exception has only been put in place due to the travel restrictions and restrictions in the students’ home country.
If you’re an EU national studying on a full-time basis in England, you might be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan to cover your full tuition fees. How much you can get depends on the following:
- How much your university or college charge per year
- whether you’re studying at a publicly or privately-funded university or college
- when you started your course/degree
You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 if you’re studying at an eligible university or college. If you’re studying an accelerated degree course, you could get up to £11,100.
If you’re not sure if a course qualifies for a student finance loan, please check with the university or college.
However, you have to pay back any loans that you intend on borrowing, but not until you’ve completed or left your course, and your income is over the repayment threshold.
Are you an EEA or Swiss national working in the UK during your time at university?
You could be eligible to get the same funding as a UK national…
Eligibility Criteria for Student finance EU students
You can apply for tuition fee funding if you’ve been living in the UK, the EEA, Gibraltar, or Switzerland for the past 3 years and you have the following:
- Withhold a pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and are an EU national or a family member of an EU national
- Withhold an Irish Citizenship or are a family member of an Irish Citizen or a Person of Northern Ireland and you have pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Gibraltarian status as an EU national
- Living in Gibraltar as a UK national previously
- Have been living in the UK since the first day of the first term of your course, unless you’re prevented from traveling due to COVID-19 restrictions
In addition, you can also apply if you’ve been living in the UK or Ireland for the past 3 years and withhold Irish citizenship.
You will not be eligible for funding to help with your living costs.
However, your course must lead to a recognised higher education qualification. The most common examples include:
- Your first degree such as a BSc, BA, or BEd
- foundation degree
- Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
- Higher National Diploma (HND)
- Higher National Certificate (HNC)
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
- Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
- Certificate of Higher Education
- Integrated master’s
If you’re unsure whether your course qualifies, you should check with your university or college prior.
Normally, you only get student finance for your first higher education course or degree.
A tuition fee loan is available for the full duration of your course, plus one extra year if it is required or experienced a change in course.
The number of years for which you are eligible for funding is usually calculated as the length of the current course with an additional one year if you studied another course/degree elsewhere.
If you haven’t got enough years of funding left to cover the duration of your course as an EU student, you’ll usually have to cover the rest of your course by yourself.
You might be able to get an extra year of tuition fee support if you need to repeat a year due to compelling personal reasons like bereavement or illness. This would require evidence. Depending on your circumstances, this could include:
- medical evidence from your GP
- evidence from social services
- from your university or college
The evidence must:
- confirm the reason/reasons why you could not complete your year
- provide the dates or period of time your compelling personal reason
- be signed and dated by the person providing the evidence such as a doctor, social worker, etc.
- You must be studying at an eligible university or college institution in England.
How do I apply for Student finance in UK?
First of all, when you apply for student finance, you’ll need to agree to Student Finance England’s terms and conditions.
You should fill in the paper application form and send it to the Student Finance England office at the following address:
Student Finance Services
Student Loans Company
PO Box 89
Darlington, County Durham
United Kingdom, DL1 9AZ
Application forms for the academic year 2021-2022 are to be downloaded through www.gov.uk/student-finance-forms.
Please note that you should apply as early as possible to make sure you get your student finance in time for the start of your course or degree. This might mean applying before you have a confirmed place at your intended university or college, but you should still apply using your first choice and change it later if you have to.
Evidence will be required upon starting your application
- The first time you apply for student finance as an EU student you’ll be asked for proof of identity.
- You should send Student Finance one of the following:
- your passport
your National Identity card
- It is very important that you send this as quickly as possible to avoid any delay or disappointments in your application being processed.
For those students who are not affected…
The good news is that there are several exceptions for some international students. This new policy won’t affect the following:
- EU/EEA and Swiss students who have already studied in the UK
- EU/EEA and Swiss students who started studying in 2020
- EU/EEA students who will arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021 and will start studying before 31 July 2021
- Irish students who live in the UK or back home in Ireland
- EU/EEA and Swiss nationals who fall under the Citizens’ Rights of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement.
You can also contact the university where you want to study and ask them for additional information.
To further clarify…
If you’re from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, this change will only affect you if you enroll at a UK university after the 1st August 2021 or onwards. If you move to the UK after 1st January and start studying before 31st July 2021, your circumstances won’t be affected.
If you enrolled in 2020 or if you’ve started your studies in 2019 or 2018 but will finish in 2021 or later, you will not be affected. You’ll pay the same tuition fees as agreed in the first place, and you’ll still benefit from the student loan.
By the look of things right now, there’s never been a better year to start studying in the United Kingdom as an international student. Universities in the UK are aware of the COVID-19 challenges that it proposes to international students and take all the necessary measures to support international students who are already in the United Kingdom or plan to move there later on this year.
You can discover more about measures and support programmes offered by the UK in a letter from key Minister Officials, which include Michelle Donelan Minister of State for Universities, Diane Dodds the Minister for the Economy, and Kirsty Williams the Minister of Education for Wales, and others.
There are other ways to enjoy the high academic teaching and experiences of our British universities. For instance, there are options of online Bachelors and Masters offered by some UK universities.
Here are a few British universities where you might want to consider that are well suited for your online studies:
London School of Business and Finance
University of Sussex
Glasgow Caledonian University
University of Leeds
University of Bath
Where shall I study in UK?
To get student finance as an EU student or elsewhere, you must study a course run by a publicly funded or registered UK university. Or, if you’re planning on studying at a private institution, your course must be approved for public funding by the UK.
The tuition fees charged by private institutions can be much higher than the tuition loan you get from Student Finance, in which case you’ll have to fund the price difference. If you study at the postgraduate level, the same rule applies.
If you’re from Northern Ireland or Scotland, you may also be eligible for funding to study for a degree in the Republic of Ireland. You won’t require a visa and will have the right to access healthcare on the same basis as an Irish citizen.
Do EU students pay tuition fees in Scotland?
Although Scotland is part of the UK region, the Student Finance system differs from the rest of the UK.
In Scotland, EU students who started their course in the year 2020 or 2021 or prior do qualify for the home fee status.
If this applies to you, it means you don’t pay for your tuition fees at all, not even as a loan that needs to be repaid. The £1,820 sum is covered by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for your first degree and PGDE courses. As long as you started your course before the academic year of 2021 or 2022 this will remain the case for the entirety of your studies and degree.
If you successfully apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll be able to apply for Student Finance in Scotland the same way that Scottish students can.
Even if the study loan works out you’ll likely have to fund your living costs for the duration of your studies.
How to apply for a UK Student Finance as an EU student
EU students have to complete the relevant application form for the student loan and send it off to the Student Loans Company by post before the final deadline.
Contact the relevant Student Finance organisation for the
part of the UK your university is in if you’re not sure about when your deadline is or what forms to complete.
We strongly recommend applying for Student Finance in the UK as early as possible to receive the money before the course starts.
What will be required from you for a UK Student Loan…
Along with your printed application form, you’ll need to send off some evidence to prove your identity and nationality as standard procedure.
All evidence provided has to be photocopies of the original copy, signed, stamped, and dated by a person of a good standing member in the community such as a doctor, lawyer, or teacher, but not a family member in this instance.
Please pay close attention to the small print to make sure you’re sending off the correct evidence for your application, as any mistakes can cause serious delays in your application or be rejected.
Application forms can take a while to process and there’s no set guidance on exactly how long it can take to receive and answer back, but if you haven’t heard anything within the space of a month, it’s worth calling them up to make sure they’ve received your form.
If your income or family situation changes in the process, or if you decide to change courses or universities, you will need to let Student Finance know of this information as soon as possible so they can make any necessary changes to your loan eligibility or circumstance.
When applying for Student Finance in the UK as an EU national, or a family member, or someone who is from the EU, you will need to provide the following documents:
You will need to provide a copy of one or both of these forms of ID as an EU national:
- National identity card
- Proof of evidence if you’re a family member of an EU national
As a family member of an EU national who is planning on becoming a student in the UK, the individual will have to provide copies of their passport and/or national identity card, as well as a birth certificate or marriage certificate to prove the stated relationship
Repaying your UK Student Loan
EU students repay their loans in the exact same way as UK students do.
Here’s a summary for those studying in England and Wales:
You don’t repay anything until the April that is coming after your graduation and when you’re earning over the amount of £27,295 a year
You pay back 9% of anything you earn over £27,295 in the working year
If you’re living and working outside of the UK, repayments start when you’re earning the equivalent of £27,295 in the country you’re working in
As soon as you’re no longer earning over £27,295 a year your Student Loan repayments will stop
Your loan starts accumulating interest from the beginning of your degree
Your debt will be wiped after 30 years, no matter how much you’ve paid off in total
If you’re studying in Scotland or Northern Ireland, your repayments does differ
The key thing to remember is that student debt isn’t the same as other kinds of debt you accumulate. Repayments are manageable and always in line with what you’re earning. You never have to pay it back if you can’t afford to do the repayments.
How much does it cost to live in the UK?
The cost of living in the UK can vary quite a lot depending on what region and area you’re living in. London is typically more expensive with high rent costs and the further north you go in the country, the cheaper it normally gets.
Wherever you are located, your biggest expense is always going to be your rent. The average student pays £547 a month for accommodation in the UK. But prices can vary from around £100 a week in the North East of England to over £200 a week in London so therefore it is always good to be prepared.
And don’t forget to include your other living costs, as everyone has to have a social life after all to balance work and study.
As of now, there is no age limit for undergraduate tuition fee loans or grants. To receive a maintenance loan for undergraduate study full time, you must be under the age of 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course or degree.
However, in England, undergraduates that are over 60 can access a means-tested loan for their living costs.
On the other hand, postgraduate students, loans designated for tuition fees, have no age limit. However, where support can also be used towards your living costs, you must have started a course before you turn the age of 60. If you change to a different course during this period, you’ll no longer be eligible for student finance.
If you’ve studied previously…
Typically, undergraduate student finance is one option if you’re studying for your first degree. There are some exceptions in some instances e.g. undergraduate funding is available for postgraduate teaching qualifications or certain degrees in some parts of the UK.
Undergraduates who previously started but then withdrew from a course may only be entitled to funding partially. This will be determined by how long you previously studied for. If you are only eligible for partial support, it’s down to you to fund the rest of your course.
At postgraduate level and above, if you already have a qualification at the same level or higher the support you may get varies from UK student finance as an EU student.
In England and Wales, you aren’t eligible for student finance for a postgraduate if your qualification was gained abroad.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, students in some instances may be able to get a loan if they haven’t had or studied a postgraduate loan before.
Postgraduates who begin but later withdraw from a course will only be able to apply for another Student Finance loan if it was due to compelling personal reasons.
At Kampus Group we are here to remind you that it is very important to always do your research before studying and committing yourself to studying in the UK. Student finance for EU students in the UK or elsewhere must be fully aware of what is expected once studying in the UK whether that be financially or academically.