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Archive - 2014/15 EU Funding

Archived information for EU students who started undergraduate courses with us in the 2014/15 academic year. If you need any more information after reading this webpage, please contact us.

The European Union (EU), and European Economic Area (EEA)

The EU includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Croatia is also expected to join in July 2013. The EEA is made up of all the countries in the EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

‘Home’ Fee Status

UK universities charge two rates of fee: ‘Home’ fees, charged to students who meet certain eligibility criteria, and ‘Overseas’ fees which are greater.  University of Sunderland tuition fees for 2014/15 are yet to be confirmed, although in 2013/14 ‘Home’ fees are £7000/£7,800/£8,500 for undergraduate courses, depending on the exact course (i.e. not postgraduate courses).

Students who are EU nationals qualify for ‘Home’ fees if you have been ‘ordinarily resident’ anywhere in the EEA for the 3 years immediately preceding 1st September (for courses starting in the Autumn) and the main purpose of your residence was not to receive full-time education.  If you have been absent from the EEA for part or all of the 3 year period, you may still qualify if the reason for your absence was that you, your parent/guardian or spouse were temporarily employed outside the EEA.

Help with Tuition Fees

If you meet the requirements for ‘Home’ fees and you are studying on a designated course (the majority of UK undergraduate degrees, Foundation Degrees and Higher National Diplomas are ‘designated’) you will normally be eligible to apply for help with paying your fees.

Application forms are available from April 2014. You will need to apply to the Student Finance Services Non-UK Team, who can be contacted by telephone on 0141 243 3570.  You can also obtain an application form from the following website: www.gov.uk/student-finance

You must apply within 9 months of the start of the academic year.  For courses starting in the Autumn, this effectively means that you must apply by the end of the following May at the latest.  It is advisable to apply as soon as possible, preferably before you start your course.

Since September 2006, all eligible full-time EU students have been able to take out a Tuition Fee Loan. This is available to both new and continuing students and is not means-tested.

The Tuition Fee Loan is money you can borrow to cover the cost of your tuition fees. Tuition fees at the University of Sunderland are currently either £7000/£7,800/£8,500 per annum for new students in 2013 (please see our website www.sunderland.ac.uk for 2014/15 updates).

The Loan is administered by the Student Finance Services Non-UK Team, and paid by the Student Loans Company. You start to repay the loan after you have left the course and are earning above a specified amount called the ‘repayment threshold’.

The Student Loans Company will work out your monthly repayment schedule using the same principles as those students who stay in the UK. You will repay 9% of your earnings over the repayment threshold. To take account of differences in living costs in other EU countries, the repayment schedule may not be the same as the UK. Find out more on the ‘Repaying from Overseas’ link on the SLC website - www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk

When you apply to the EU Team it can take several weeks for your application to be considered.  You will have to re-apply each year for tuition fee assistance.

Do I Qualify For Any Additional UK Government Funding?


The majority of UK full-time students are funded through this system which provides assistance with the cost of tuition fees, Maintenance Grants and Loans for living costs and supplementary grants, if they are studying for a first degree, Higher National Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) (see our other leaflets on student funding).

The usual main criteria to be eligible for the full Student Finance package are:

  • you must have ‘settled status’ in the UK; and
  • you have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for the 3 years before the start of the course for purposes other than wholly or mainly for education.

However, you may also qualify for the full UK Student Finance Package if one of the following applies to you:

  • you have lived in the ‘UK or Islands’ (the UK plus the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) for three years or more when you start your course
  • you are a student from England who is returning to the UK to study after having exercised a right of residence elsewhere in the EEA or Switzerland
  • you have EEA or Swiss migrant worker status (see below for further information)
  • you are the child of a ‘Turkish worker’

Nationals of the Republic of Ireland are treated as ‘settled’ in the UK for immigration purposes due to membership of the Common Travel Area.  However, Irish nationals must also fulfil the 3 years residency in the UK requirement in order to be eligible for living costs assistance as well as tuition fee assistance.

If you are eligible for the full Student Finance package you need to apply to Student Finance England (if you live in England) or other UK Student Finance office (if you live in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland). You can apply online at www.gov.uk/student-finance , or you can download an application (PN1) there if you prefer.


You may qualify for ‘Home’ fee status and the full Student Finance package (i.e. funding towards living costs as well as tuition fees) if you are an EEA migrant worker, or you are the spouse or child of an EEA migrant worker.  This also applies to migrant workers from Switzerland.   To qualify as a ‘migrant worker’ you must:

  • be a national of an EEA country or Switzerland; and,
  • have been ordinarily resident in the EEA or Switzerland for the 3 years immediately before 1 September 2014 for purposes other than mainly for full-time education; and,
  • student must be be ordinarily resident in England and Wales on the first day of the first academic year of the course (1 September for courses commencing in Autumn);
  • have taken up work since moving to the UK; and
  • continue to work whilst studying

‘Work’ must be ‘effective and genuine’ and involve performing services in return for pay.  There are no set rules on the length of time you need to have been working; however you must be able to demonstrate that you came into the UK with the express intention of employment in the UK, rather than you intended to study and have decided to work on top of this. You will also need to demonstrate that they can support yourself on your earnings and that you are not reliant on Student Finance.

You will not necessarily lose your migrant worker status if you become ‘involuntarily unemployed’ (for example, if you were made redundant, but not if you lost your job through misconduct), as long as you can demonstrate that you are actively seeking work.

You would not qualify for Student Finance as a migrant worker if you took up a job with a view to studying a course related to the same field of activity and your employer would not have given you the job if you had not already been accepted on to the course – i.e. if you took up the job specifically to try to gain migrant worker status in order to receive Student Support funding.

As well as help with tuition fees, Student Finance provides EEA Migrant Workers with a Maintenance Grant and Loan, and grants for students with dependants, which depend on your financial circumstances.

If you think you may qualify as an EEA Migrant Worker you should apply to the Student Finance office for the area in which you live (see above) – or through www.gov.uk/student-finance .

University of Sunderland Scholarship Programmes

The University of Sunderland will offer a number of scholarships in 2014/15 to UK and EU Students, details of which will be updated on the following website soon: www.sunderland.ac.uk/ug/feesandfunding/sunderlandscholarships/

Welfare Benefits & Tax Credits

Most full-time students are not eligible for certain state welfare benefits whatever their nationality, but there are some exceptions (e.g. lone parents, some disabled students, or student couples).  Additionally, for some benefits there is a habitual resident test.  Claimants are required to be habitually resident in the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man unless they are in an excepted category such as a migrant worker.

Child Benefit is paid for each child in your care who is under 16 (or under 19 if in full-time non-advanced education).  You can claim this if you, your spouse or child have been in the UK for 6 months or sooner if your country has a reciprocal agreement with the UK.  If you or your spouse begin work and pay National Insurance contributions you can claim Child Benefit from the Inland Revenue immediately.

Child Tax Credit (CTC) is paid to low and middle income parents who have responsibility for a child.  Working Tax Credit (WTC) is paid to low or middle income adults who work 16/24 hours or more per week who have responsibility for a child or have a disability or who are (or their partners are) over 25 and working 30 hours or more per week.  EEA and Swiss nationals should not be excluded from these tax credits because they are students or on the basis of their nationality.


If you would like further information, advice or help on any Student Finance issue please contact us.

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