Scotland announcement on student finance 2021-2022 onwards

10 July 2020

The Scottish Government has announced that, like England, it does not intend to treat EU students who start courses in the academic year 2021-2022 as entitled to ‘home’ fees or Student Support. It made the announcement in its ‘Supporting Scotland’s Colleges and Universities: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Further and Higher Education Sustainability Plan’.

Importantly, the announcement confirms that the change will not affect students who start their courses in the academic year 2020-2021, or before.

It is likely to be some time before further details emerge from the Scottish Government. When there are any further details, UKCISA will update the following pages on the UKCISA website:

Here is the entire Scottish Government statement, taken from the plan (page 7):

Changing Support for EU Students

“Ministers have confirmed that as a result of Brexit, higher education students from the EU attending our colleges and universities will no longer qualify for tuition fee support beyond AY 2020-21. Home fee status for these students will come to end after AY 2020-21.

“This is following the UK’s decision to exit the EU, a profoundly damaging decision taken against the wishes of the people of Scotland. Our EU law obligations cease at the end of the transition period. Continuing with this arrangement from AY 21/22 would significantly increase the risk of any legal challenge.

“Should Scotland re-join the EU, the arrangement would be reinstated.

  • For those students starting in AY 2020-21 or earlier the arrangement continues for the duration of their course.
  • In AY 2020-21 should EU student numbers decrease because of the current pandemic, colleges and universities will be able to use funded places to accommodate Scottish domiciled students. Recruiting more Scottish domiciled students could help address the country’s skills needs and continue to widen access to university.
  • Scottish institutions will be able to charge EU students international fees from AY 2021-22. We will make the necessary legislative changes to permit institutions to no longer charge the home fee rate to EU students and to remove existing entitlements of EU nationals for student support.
  • For AY 2021-22 any resources freed up by this change will remain within the college and university sectors, including to support additional Scottish students. Detail will be considered in the forthcoming review of provision by SFC and in discussion with the sectors.
  • Part of this will be establishing scholarships for EU and international students to continue to welcome them to Scotland.
  • We will confirm future arrangements for Irish students for AY 2021-22 under the Common Travel Area in due course as this is subject to on-going discussion with the UK and Irish Governments.”

You can also read comments from Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Richard Lochhead, about it in this Scottish Government press release.


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