To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide guidance to the Student Loans Company on how to handle applications from UK students enrolled in US universities who cannot continue their studies there as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and wish to resume higher education in Britain.
Eligibility for student finance is governed by a range of criteria, including residency, type of course, where and how a student is studying, previous study and whether or not the student holds a higher education qualification.
Generally, tuition fee support for full-time courses is available for the length of a student’s course, plus one extra year if needed, minus any years of previous study. Where a student has undertaken a previous full-time higher education course but has not achieved a qualification, previous study rules will generally apply to the calculation of tuition fee loan entitlement, apart from when the previous course was wholly self-funded (i.e. that the student received no public support from within the UK or elsewhere).
However, the regulations make provision for students to receive a year’s additional tuition fee support where Student Finance England is satisfied that the student has been unable to complete a year of study for compelling personal reasons. Maintenance loans and supplementary grants are generally available to eligible students until an honour’s degree has been achieved.
Student Finance England will assess students’ entitlement to funding in line with existing regulations and guidance. Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, UK students who start studying in the US and later transfer to a UK higher education provider due to the COVID-19 outbreak may be able to access some student support for their new course.