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Moving back to study in UK University - Domestic or International Fees?


Shari

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Hello.

 

There's a lot of talk on PomsInOz regarding returning to the UK and if you have to pay Domestic or International University fees.

 

We're considering going back, and I've done quite a bit of research, and made direct enquiries to UK Universities for my daughter.

 

Here's what I've found.

 

To be eligible for Home (Domestic) fees, you have to satisfy the 3-year "Ordinarily Residence" test.

 

What that means is, if you have been been away from the UK for the preceding 3 years from the date the University course starts, you have to prove you have been "Ordinarily Resident".

 

In practice, this means if you were forced to leave the UK, perhaps because of temporary work overseas, and you can prove that work was done on a temporary basis and if it wasn't for that work you would have continued to reside in the UK, then you can be assessed as if you have never left the UK and claim Home fee status.

 

I have been employed in Australia on a 457 visa and my daughter has been with me for the full duration.

 

In our case, we have been away from the UK for over 4 years on a 457 visa. The visa is obviously temporary and has a fixed end-date.

 

I had to provide evidence of our 457 status (by providing scans of our visa labels in our passports - if you don't have a visa label it can be obtained from any DIAC office) as well as evidence that my employment was of a temporary nature. I was engaged on a succession of fixed-term contracts - if you left the UK with a permanent Australian job offer, it might be more difficult to prove the temporary nature of the job.

 

Our status has been assessed that my daughter qualifies for Home fees.

 

Obviously this only works if you have been away from the UK on a "temporary" visa such as a 457. If you have obtained PR you will find it impossible to prove your absence from the UK was of a temporary nature.

 

Also please note that according to the rules (see below) there is no time-limit on "temporary". But I cannot confirm how a long-term temporary-visa application would be assessed.

 

Here's the rules that UK Universities follow in deciding if an applicant has to pay Home or International Fees:

http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/International-Students/Fees--finance/Home-or-Overseas-fees/England-Higher-Education/

 

Additionally, when applying for UK University Courses you need to get your Australian qualifications converted into UCAS points by submitting an application to have your Oz qualifications converted - here's the website:

https://www.naric.org.uk/NARIC/Individuals/how%20to%20apply.aspx

 

We hear a lot of people say "If you've been away for 3 years you need to pay International Fees". Whilst that is true to a point, I hope the information above shows the bigger picture, and how you can still be assessed for Home fees if you can prove you have been away from the UK only temporarily.

Edited by Shari
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Great that it has worked out!

 

Also worth pointing out that International fees aren't always prohibitive. My DH is starting a part-time degree course through a UK university (we live in Oz and it's distance learning) and it's £1000 a year more than the domestic fee which was a lot less than we thought it would be.

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