British Students Abroad: Sudan

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th May 2023.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of facilitating access to home student finance to support UK national students who have been evacuated from Sudan and who are unable to continue higher education that they had been pursuing in that country to continue their higher education at UK institutions.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

The department knows that UK national students will be concerned about any disruption to their education as a result of the conflict in Sudan.

British nationals are considered settled in the UK and will be eligible to apply for home fee status and student support once they hold three years ordinary residence in the UK prior to the start of any higher education (HE) course. This requirement ensures that the support provided by the taxpayer is targeted at those who have a substantial and recent connection with the UK.

There is no discretion to waive the three-year ordinary residence requirement. Student Finance England will consider on a case-by-case basis whether a period of absence affects a person’s ordinary residence.

To allow flexibility in dealing with the circumstances of individual applicants, HE providers can waive or reduce fees where they consider it appropriate to do so. The onus would be on individual applicants to provide a compelling and persuasive case to their individual university which would warrant the exercise of this discretion in their favour.

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