My stepdaughter was born in the United States to British parents who have kept their British citizenship. What would be the status and approximate cost of her attending university in the United Kingdom? JF, Abu Dhabi
Fiona McKenzie, director of Gabbitas Education, Middle East
There are two types of fee status for UK universities, international status and home status. Tuition fee status is determined by your nationality, the country where you normally reside and whether you have been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for three years before starting the course.
If a university cannot determine the fee status from the UCAS application form, which requires information on country of birth and country of domicile, then it will send out a fee questionnaire. This will make inquiries about immigration status, residency and, if living abroad, whether the contract is temporary or permanent.
In this particular case, it would seem likely the student would fall under international status, unless she has British citizenship and can demonstrate that she has maintained strong links with the UK during her time living abroad.
This could include, among other things, annual trips back to the UK documented with plane tickets, parents retaining a house in the UK or paying some level of tax in the UK.
Universities would deal with this information on a case-by-case basis and the results can be mixed, with different universities offering a different status.
In terms of the cost, in some cases it does not make a significant difference, particularly if you are looking at humanities or arts courses.
Home status fees are currently capped at Â£9,000 (Dh48,254) a year; at somewhere like Canterbury Christchurch international fees start at Â£9,700; at the University West of England international fees are Â£11,750 for a full-time undergraduate course across most disciplines and at Cambridge University fees start at Â£15,000 for arts and humanities degree programmes.
However, if she wishes to study a lab based course the fees can range from Â£35,000 at Cambridge up to Â£47,000 a year for the final three years of medicine at Edinburgh University.
Leonardo Duque, senior education counsellor, SI UK Education Council
University fees in the UK are dependent on the nationality of the applicant, with students classed as either international or EU/UK.
In this case, we will assume the student holds both an American and British passport and has not been residing in the UK. To be considered a “home” student, UK regulations state that the student needs to be a citizen of a country in the European Economic Area and have been a resident in the EEA for at least three years before the course start date. Alternatively, if it can be demonstrated that she has not been an ordinary resident in the relevant area only because she or her family members, were temporarily working outside the country, she will be treated as though she is an ordinary resident in the EEA.
If it can be proved that a student is classified as “home” or EEA, student fees are capped at a maximum of Â£9,000 per year at any university or publicly funded institution. For overseas students, fees can range from Â£6,500 to Â£14,000 per year.Students are recommended to seek guidance during the application process. The admissions department will only undertake a fee status assessment once the student has been offered a place.
Our consultants provide families and students with free advice on the process of applying to a UK university. If you would like a free consultation, contact one of SI-UK’s 14 global offices. The next UK University Fair takes place on May 14 at the Lancaster London Hotel, and students can meet 100 universities who can also advise on fee status.
Next month’s question:
My friends tell me that low-cost index funds or exchange traded funds are the investment of choice these days. But how do I access these options, what is the minimum I can invest and what are the risks? JH, Dubai
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