School and College
In the UK, you can go to school between the age of 5 to 18 for free, regardless of your immigration status. You can also study at a sixth form/college also for free, wherever you are from, and whatever your immigration status. However, you must meet some residency and entry requirements (depending on the course). Check out this page to see what the requirements are.
With any of the types of statuses listed below, you are allowed to go to university (unless you have particular immigration bail conditions). However, you must meet entry requirements for the course, and depending on your immigration status, you must either fund your own study, apply for a scholarship or apply for a Government loan from Student Finance (the loans from the UK government that help you pay for your university tuition fees and living costs).
The main costs of going to university are the tuition fees and your living costs (such as accommodation, transport, food, etc). Here is information about what you are allowed to apply for, depending on each immigration status:
If you are an asylum seeker wanting to study at University, you have to fund your own studies and may have to pay overseas (international) fees, which are higher than home fees. However, it is the decision of the university whether they charge Home or International fees.
However, there are currently 85 universities in the UK that offer scholarships to help asylum seekers study. These scholarships include a fee waiver (removing the tuition fee) plus other support towards accommodation and study costs.
Refugee, Humanitarian Protection, and Indefinite leave to remain
If you have refugee, humanitarian protection status, or indefinite leave to remain, you will be considered a ‘Home’ student, and charged Home fees (in the same way as other British students) and you can apply for Student Finance to cover these fees, and a maintenance loan to cover accommodation and any other study costs.
Limited Leave / Discretionary Leave to Remain
If you have this status and want to go to university, you can apply for Student Finance. However, you have to meet specific requirements. You must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years before beginning your course AND have lived in the UK for 7 years if you are under 18, or for half your life if you are over 18.
The details of this status and proving your eligibility to student finance with sufficient evidence can get complicated. If you need any help or support, you can contact [email protected]. We Belong is an organisation led by experts in access to HE for people with limited/discretionary status.