The most comprehensive publication on the subject I have located is
available at http://www.ukcosa.org.uk/images/fees.pdf: "Fees and
Student Support" UKCOSA (August 2005). I suggest you review it and
contact that organization and/or her educational institution for
Based on my research, I believe your girlfriend will have difficulty
qualifying for Home Fee status despite having lived in the UK for more
than three years now unless she can demonstrate that her or her
parents were temporarily working abroad for the three years before she
entered the UK to attend school. In that case, she would have been
eligible for Home fee status throughout. I am assuming that is not
the case. If she were to stop her studies and work for three years in
the UK or EEA, then she could resume her studies at the home fee rate.
"REGULATIONS TO BE CLASSIFIED AS A HOME STUDENT
The current regulations state that to be eligible for home fees you
will need to be in one of the following categories:
ordinarily resident in the UK for a full three years before the first
term of your course on: September 1 (if the course begins in the
autumn); January 1 (if the course begins in the spring); or April 1
(if the course begins in the summer). Temporary or occasional absences
will not affect your residency status.
and in addition:
you were not in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving
"Definitions of home and overseas students" British Council
It is the final condition that appears to pose a problem. As this
source indicates, "To establish ordinary residency my show irregular
habitual mode of life in a particular place, for a settled purpose,
the continuity of which has persisted despite temporary absences. You
cannot normally establish a relevant connection if you have entered
the UK as a student or a visitor."
"Fee Status-Guidance Notes" University of the Arts London
"8. Will I have to pay 'home' or 'overseas' student fees?
You will qualify for home fees if you are an EU national or your
parent is an EU national and:
You have been ordinarily resident anywhere in the EEA (ignoring short
absences such as holidays) for the three years immediately preceding
the 1st September, 1st January or 1st April closest to the beginning
of your course; and
Throughout the relevant three year period the main purpose of your
residence in the EEA was not to receive full time education. You will
not be automatically excluded if you were in full time education, as
long as it was not the main reason for residence.
The regulations regarding eligibility for 'home' fees and Student
Support are complex. If you think you may qualify or need further
advice, contact the advice or welfare service at your institution or
students union, or telephone the UKCOSA student advice line (see
The information above is produced in full by UKCOSA. You can download
their guidance note EEA Students at
"Information for EU students" British Council http://www.educationuk.org/eu_faqs/
Search terms: "Home fee"
Request for Answer Clarification by
09 Dec 2005 16:12 PST
I have to apologise I have been away for a few days then very busy..
but I do need to still have a bit of an idea of what is meant by
"reident in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving
If wonko-ga can help me I will close this issue.
My current thought with my specific situation is that my girlfriend
really has no alternative! For various reasons (her family expecting
her to go to university in the UK, having spent time here growing up,
wanting to work eventually in the uk...) she had to come to the UK.
And then since she is quite good at maths she needed to go to an
academic environment to begin her career in that area.
There are other strong signs she has reinforcing this approach and I
cant see how she can be said to be in the UK either WHOLLY or MAINLY,
though indeed she has been a student for the last 3 years!
If you cant help explain how we can clarify this status, can you help us find:
- a reference of other cases that might help understand what
exceptions actually applied and received home fee
- how to find a lawyer and proceed with them on this issue. I am not
sure what kind of lawyer would be right for this...
If the answer is good I will gladly add a good tip, thank you!!
Clarification of Answer by
11 Dec 2005 10:34 PST
The rules appear to be quite strict according the following source,
and based on the information you have provided, there appears to be
little chance your girlfriend will qualify for home fees. Since her
educational institution ultimately makes the decision, she will have
to consult with them about her situation. I would strongly suggest
that she contact UKCOSA to find out how to present her situation to
her educational institution to find out if there are any effective
arguments she can make in her favor. An attorney will be expensive,
and I doubt if there are many with the proper expertise in this area.
UKCOSA can probably refer her to one if they believe one would be
Other options she should look into include financial aid such as
scholarships. Student loans may also be another possibility, since the
residency requirements may be a little less strict. UKCOSA may be
able to provide suggestions regarding these possibilities.
"What are the residency requirements [for receiving a student loan]?
You must have been ordinarily resident in the British Isles for the
three years immediately before the start of the academic year of the
start of your course. However, there are some exceptions to this and
you should contact your Award Authority for advice."
"FAQ's" The Student Loans Company Ltd. (2000)
"Definitions of home and overseas students" The British Council
(I have included the Google cached version of the page since the
original was not available when I tried to access it directly.)
"Home fees generally apply to European Union (EU) nationals who have
lived within the EU for the three years immediately before the start
of their course in the UK."
"Overseas fees will be applied to any student coming from outside the
EU, including UK citizens who have not been resident in the UK for the
past three years.
Ultimately, it is the individual institution that decides what fees to
charge an international student. Fees will vary according to the
institution and the subject studied. You should contact your chosen
institution for more information."
"The institution makes the final decision on fee assessment. It is up
to you to satisfy the institution that you meet the requirements for
home fee status.
The following factors are not in themselves sufficient to warrant a
home fee classification:
The possession of UK nationality
Ownership of property in the UK
Employment in the UK
Payment of UK taxes
No specific exemptions are made for particular groups such as:
UK civil servants in overseas posts
Members of the armed forces serving abroad
University academics working abroad
Children and spouses of embassy staff from other countries"
The following source provides considerable details and information
about the relevant laws that govern the rules. It indicates that a
change in fee status of the type your girlfriend is seeking are rare
unless the initial assessment was incorrect:
"Change to Fee Status There are a few limited cases in which a student
may change fee status whilst studying, however, most changes to fee
status that occur whilst a student is studying are caused by the
alteration of an initial assessment that was incorrect. Advice in
either instance may be sought from theUndergraduate Admissions Officer
who will also be able to advise about the appropriate repayment of
fees already paid to the University."
"SECTION 1APPENDIX (A3) - Evaluation of Fee Status - Full-time
Undergraduates" University of Durham Academic Office (November 2002)
After extensive searching, I was unable to identify any specific
examples of exceptions other than the one above when the initial
assessment is incorrect.
Worst case, she would need to stop out for three years to establish
residency and qualify for home fee status. Living and working in the
UK or another part of the European Economic Area would most likely
satisfy the residency criteria.
I am sorry I cannot be more optimistic about the situation, but my
research strongly suggests that there are significant obstacles to
your girlfriend qualifying for home fee tuition based on the
information you have provided. I again strongly encourage her to
contact UKCOSA and her educational institution for advice about how to
address her financial situation. There may be something unique about
her situation that we are overlooking. Her educational institution is
the authority that decides her eligibility for home fee, so they will
have to be involved at some point.
I wish both of you the best of luck in dealing with her unfortunate situation.