University Applications (People with Leave to Remain)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 19th June 2019.

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Photo of Maureen Watt Maureen Watt Scottish National Party

8. To ask the Scottish Government what the criteria are for people applying to university who have leave to remain when assessing their home or overseas status. (S5O-03412)

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

As autonomous bodies, it is for universities to determine the tuition-fee status of students who apply for higher education courses, in accordance with the Education (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2011. Eligibility for home-rate fees is determined with reference to an applicant’s residence rather than their nationality or place of birth.

Photo of Maureen Watt Maureen Watt Scottish National Party

In my constituency, there is a family who came to this country in 2002; all its members have leave to remain. Two of the children currently attend university and receive home fees. However, when the daughter applied for higher education, certain universities and colleges classed her as an overseas student, which meant that she would have to pay fees. Does the minister agree that the criteria should be applied equally over all Scotland’s higher education institutions?

Photo of Richard Lochhead Richard Lochhead Scottish National Party

That question is similar to the previous question. I reiterate that residency rules, which are laid out in legislation, set out eligibility for tuition fees and living costs loan support. As I also said before, we are speaking about autonomous institutions. On rare occasions, decisions vary from institution to institution. I make a similar offer and ask Maureen Watt to send me more details of the case. If there is a case for my intervention, in order to have more consistency across the institutions, I will look at it carefully.