• Elizabeth Sawyer

UK University Home Student Fees: a Degree of Uncertainty

Just like tax and immigration laws, the world of education is always evolving, and it’s challenging but important to stay abreast of changes that may have an impact on the education trajectory of relocating students. One such important shift in recent years relates to the UK and its fees for higher education. In the past, UK families going on assignment might maintain a home property, and this might suffice for their children to be considered “home students” if they returned to the UK for university after an assignment; the advantage to being a “home student” is that university fees are markedly lower than they are for international students.

Unfortunately for UK families, this has changed; the rules have been tightened up such that UK students need to be residents in the UK for three years leading up to university in order to qualify for “home student” fees. We have worked with several English families who were not aware of this change and were stunned when we mentioned it to them, given its significant financial implications. Luckily, in those cases, they had time to discuss the new reality with their employers before finalizing their assignment.

At the moment, there is still somewhat of a “gray” area in that individual universities have some discretion in how they define an international or home student. So, if you’re considering an assignment outside the UK and know that you’d like to have your child return there for university, it might be worth calling a couple of universities of interest to see how they would consider your child’s case.

An additional source of information:


With best wishes,


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