Documents to download

Under current student support regulations only students who are classified as home or EU students are eligible to apply for student support including tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and grants.  Other students who fall into a narrow group of exceptional categories, such as refugees, may also be eligible to apply for student funding, but students with limited leave to remain and discretionary leave to remain (DLR) are ineligible. 

Many students with DLR have been resident in the UK for a considerable time and some have completed most of their schooling in the UK, but for student support purposes these students are classified as overseas students which means that they are unable to access public funds for their higher education and they may be charged higher unregulated fees.  This policy therefore effectively shuts many of these students out of higher education.

This treatment of students with DLR has been challenged in court in the Tigere case and in July 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that excluding students with DLR from student support was unlawful and breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

In response to the Tigere judgement, on 16 September 2015, the Student Loans Company issued an interim policy for the handling of student support applications from students with limited and discretionary leave to remain. 

The government is now considering how to respond to this ruling and launched a consultation a New Eligibility Category for Higher Education Student Support which proposed creating a new category of student for student support purposes – students with long term residency in the UK.  The consultation closed on 8 January 2016 and the government will respond in due course.  The Government also intends to publish an Equality Assessment of the proposals and aims to bring in new regulations for the academic year 2016/17.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • This House of Commons Library briefing sets out the system of support for children and young people in England aged 0-25 with special educational needs (SEN). The briefing provides an overview of the new system introduced in 2014, the transitional arrangements, and how the new system differs from that which preceded it. It also includes a brief history of the movement towards reform that preceded the 2014 changes, and information on the impact of the new system available to date.

  • This House of Commons briefing paper discusses the university admissions system and the various review of university admissions. The Office for Students launched its review on 27 February 2020. On 22 July 2019 Universities UK launched its own separate review of admissions which was published on 13 November 2020. On the same day Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson said that it was his intention to consider post-qualification university admissions and that the government will consult on proposals to “remove the unfairness” in the university admission system. The paper focuses on the use of predicted grades for university admissions, the increase in unconditional offers by universities, contextual admissions and issues around a post qualification admissions system.