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University Tuition Fees

Tuition Fees: England | Scotland | Wales | Northern Ireland

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Welcome to University Tuition Fees

Changes to university student fees and financial support (for those who entered university from 2012/13) came after the Browne Review of October 2010 and the subsequent and related government proposals.

Due to devolved power in the separate countries of the United Kingdom, different and confusing rules exist depending on whether you are domiciled in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

The changes in tuition fees (being liable to be charged up to £9,000 per year) applies to universities in all four countries of the UK for all English-domiciled students.

Students domiciled in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales essentially have to pay the same tuition fees as English-domiciled students but the big difference is that the governments of these devolved countries cover the cost of fees above a certain level with non-repayable grants.

 

Although the fees naturally scare many soon-to-be university students, especially those domiciled in England, there are five important things to remember about tuition fees that need to be known in order to avoid unnecessary panic.

1. Students donít need to pay anything while studying.
2. Youíll only pay once youíve graduated.
3. You will only start paying once you're earning over £21,000 a year.
4. Once you are earning £25,000 a year, your monthly repayments will be around £30 (approximately £1 per day).
5. All outstanding loan repayments will be written off after 30 years.

Students from the Republic of Ireland, and all other European Union (EU) countries, do not have to pay the higher rates (up to £9,000 per year) that English-domiciled students will have to pay in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. EU regulations mean they can only be charged at the same level as domiciled students.

Tuition fees for international students have not changed radically and will likely remain variable and higher than those for Home and EU students.

What are tuition fees

Tuition fees are a means of funding tuition to undergraduate and postgraduate certificate students who study at universities.

Fees were first introduced across the entire United Kingdom in September 1998 with students being required to pay up to £1,000 a year for tuition. However, as a result of the establishment of devolved national administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, different arrangements now exist with regard to the charging of tuition fees in each of the countries of the United Kingdom.

In England, developments in the funding of higher education were announced in January 2004 when the UK government increased the level of tuition fees that universities were allowed to charge, to £3,000 a year. By 2010/11, maximum fees had increased to £3,290.

In 2009, further calls for more funding to be made available to universities resulted in the commissioning of a report from the former chairman of BP John Browne to look into the future of higher education funding. The Browne Review was published on 12 October 2010 and contained proposals to remove the cap on tuition fees. The resulting debate on the proposals sparked protests from students opposed to any rise in tuition fees. Despite these protests the government won a vote in the House of Commons which would result in universities eventually being able to charge students up to £9,000 a year for the annual tuition costs of students.

UK and EU students do not have to pay tuition fees upfront. The Government provide a tuiton fee loan which you do not have to repay until you are employed and earning £21,000 per year.

Following devolution, tuition fees were first abolished in Scotland and replaced with charge after graduation - the graduate endowment - to help pay for tuition. The endowment system itself was later abolished so that all students domiciled and studying at Scottish universities did not have to pay any fees towards their tuition costs.

The Welsh Assembly, because of its limited powers in comparison with their Scottish counterparts, remained with the caps imposed on the level of tuition as established by the United Kingdom government. However, whereas the United Kingdom government chose to replace means-tested maintenance grants for living expenses whilst at university with a student loan scheme, the Welsh Assembly re-introduced these for Welsh students either studying in Wales or anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

Please note this site focuses primarily on the tuition fees system payable by UK (Home) and EU students on a full-time undergraduate degree course in the UK. The system for international students has not changed radically and, therefore, annual fees for international students are likely to remain unchanged and higher than those stated on this site.

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