Scottish Government confirms tuition support for students after EU exit

The Scottish Government has confirmed that tuition fee and living cost support will continue to be available to eligible UK nationals returning to study in Scotland from the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland for seven years after EU exit.

‘UK Returners’ will retain the right to access tuition fee and living-cost support on the same basis as they have under EU rules for this extended period. This includes eligibility for further and higher education student support, and access to apprenticeships.

Minister for Higher Education Richard Lochhead said: “This guarantee will provide a level of reassurance and stability to UK nationals who may be considering returning to Scotland to study in the near future.

“Those who left the UK to live in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will have done so on the understanding that under EU rules they would retain the same rights to access education as citizens who remained in the UK.

“We are committed to protecting the rights of such people to access educational support and today’s announcement will deliver that protection.”

Eligible UK nationals currently residing in the EU, EEA and Switzerland who were resident in Scotland before they went to live abroad are assessed as ‘home fee’ students and can access tuition fee and living cost support.

Eligible UK nationals who lived elsewhere in the UK before moving to the EU, EEA or Switzerland can access tuition fee support in Scotland if they choose to study here.

Because of EU rules on free movement of people, these UK returners do not have to meet a three-year residency requirement - which is necessary for those who come back to the UK from living outside of the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Seven years after EU exit would enable UK nationals who are currently in secondary education within the EU, EEA or Switzerland to complete their schooling before returning to Scotland to study at college or university level.

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