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Home fees and loans for students at British universities
Following a revision of the fee guidelines for UK universities, the children of Swiss nationals may be granted “Home Fee” status at UK universities if they meet certain conditions. These conditions are explained on the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) (see links to the right).
Prospective Swiss students who fulfill all required conditions are entitled to study at British universities at the standard fee rates for students from the UK and other EU states. In addition, those students may apply for financial support in the form of loans.
Detailed information about the conditions which apply can be found on the UKCISA websites listed to the right.
It is no longer necessary for the prospective student or his/her parents to have lived in the UK for years before starting university, but there is a deadline for becoming resident in the UK which precedes the actual start of the university term. It is likely that the applicant will be asked by the university to provide documentation to prove this.
The assessment whether a prospective student is classified as “home” or “overseas” is made by the university’s admissions office and should be based on the UKCISA guidelines.
Prospective students are advised to refer to the UKCISA guidelines to identify the specific category under which they might be entitled to “Home Fee” status. For Swiss students, this will often be Category 7 “Child of a Swiss National”. Applicants hoping to fit into this category need to meet all the requirements stated in that category and explained in the “Definitions” section.
When applying to a UK university as a potential “Home Fee” student, it may be helpful to refer to a specific category of the guidelines (often Category 7) from the beginning and to provide documentation to show that the conditions have been met or will be met.
Some aspects of the conditions in the guidelines are open to interpretation. For example, the UK has no system of local registration which would prove the residency status and the term “child” is not defined precisely. Therefore, it is often necessary that applicants communicate with their relevant university admissions office to find out which specific criteria need to be met and which type of documentation will be accepted.
The term "Child" is not defined with any age limit so that it may also be possible for a mature student or postgraduate student to be classified as a “Home Fee” student, if their university admissions office agrees.