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Updated : 25/04/2017

FAQs - University fees and financial help

  • I'm Danish and want to study in Germany - but the university I approached tells me I'll need to pay tuition fees. Aren't EU nationals studying in another EU country exempt from fees?

    NO - EU law doesn't exempt you from tuition fees! What it does say is that you must be treated the same as a national from the country you want to study in. In this case, if German students have to pay tuition fees, you have to as well.

  • I'm French and would like to study in Ireland. As Irish universities don't charge Irish nationals tuition fees, am I also exempt?

     YES - under EU law, all EU nationals are entitled to use a host country's education system on the same terms as its own nationals. This means French nationals must be treated the same as Irish students as regards tuition fees.

  • My university in Scotland is charging me (I'm English) higher fees than it's charging locals from Scotland and students from other EU countries. Isn't this a case of discrimination that the EU can help me with?

    NO - this has to do with the relationship between the United Kingdom and its own nationals. It is a matter of domestic policy and has no connection with European law.

  • I'm Czech and have been living in the UK since I was 12. I'd like to go to university here but can only afford it if I get a grant. Who should I ask for one - the Czech or the British authorities?

    Primarily the British authorities - EU governments have to give the same support to nationals of other EU countries who are permanent residents as to their own nationals. Permanent residence means 5 years' continuous residence. So if you've been living in the UK for 5 years or more on the date your course starts, you'll be eligible for the same maintenance grant as British students.

  • I'm Polish, have just finished my undergraduate degree in Poland and now want to study for a Master's in France. Am I entitled to a study grant from either Poland or France?

    MAYBE - EU governments aren't obliged to provide grants or loans to students from other EU countries. Likewise, they aren't obliged to support their own nationals if they choose to study abroad.

    These decisions are entirely at the discretion of the governments concerned: some countries' maintenance grants restrict their citizens' ability to study abroad.

    Contact the authorities in both countries to find out what help they're willing to give you.

  • Will I lose my maintenance grant from my government if I go abroad to study?

    POSSIBLY - your government can choose whether to give you a maintenance grant if you go abroad to study: ask them what their rules are on that.

    However, if your government does give support, it must ensure the eligibility rules don't create an unjustified restriction on your freedom of movement.

  • I am an Austrian citizen studying law in the UK on a full-time basis. I applied for a tuition fee loan and maintenance grant which were turned down. Am I entitled to financial assistance in the UK on the same basis as British students?

    NO - you are entitled to the same grants to cover course fees as British nationals, but you do not automatically have a right to a maintenance grant on the same basis as British nationals. EU countries are not obliged to grant maintenance support to people who are not regarded as habitually resident, unless they are classified as workers, or self-employed persons (or people who retain such status), and members of their families.
  • I am French and I'd like to study in the Czech Republic. Will I have to become a resident of the Czech Republic before I can qualify for the same fees as Czech students?

    NO - as a French citizen studying in the Czech Republic, EU rules mean you cannot be charged higher tuition fees than Czech nationals. However, you may not be entitled to a maintenance grant from the Czech authorities unless you are a permanent resident.
  • Is a school based in the EU allowed to charge a non-national higher tuition fees than a national? For example, may a school in Poland charge a British citizen a higher tuition fee than it charges a Polish citizen?

    NO -   schools in the EU cannot discriminate on the grounds of nationality, so in this case a Polish school may not charge a British citizen higher fees than those paid by Polish students.
  • I am Czech and have been living and working in the UK for a year and a half.  I applied for a student grant but was offered a reduced amount of money on the grounds that I was a migrant worker. Am I not entitled to a full grant?

    MAYBE - you might qualify for a student grant if your training is related to your previous work. In that case you would have the same right to a grant as a British student. The amount of grant awarded depends on household income: the higher the income, the lower the grant.


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