British NHS worker returning to UK. Does my daughter really have to pay international student fees?

We are moving back to the UK from New Zealand after 6 years away (due to family illness). We will both be working for the NHS as a physio and a nurse. My daughter is 17 and it looks like she's going to have to be an international student. She wants to go to Bath University but we can't afford the 27,000/year fees.
Has anyone else encountered this? Is there any way around it? I don't think we qualify for any benefits but I'm so overwhelmed by trying to research this I'm hoping someone might give us a quick answer.

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0
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    edited 4 November 2023 at 9:54AM
    Batman04 said:
    We are moving back to the UK from New Zealand after 6 years away (due to family illness). We will both be working for the NHS as a physio and a nurse. My daughter is 17 and it looks like she's going to have to be an international student. She wants to go to Bath University but we can't afford the 27,000/year fees.
    Has anyone else encountered this? Is there any way around it? I don't think we qualify for any benefits but I'm so overwhelmed by trying to research this I'm hoping someone might give us a quick answer.
    I can;t see you being eligible for any UK benefits without paying any UK tax for the last few years. Are you eligible for any support from New Zealand?
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,734
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    edited 4 November 2023 at 3:19PM
    If she is 17, surely another year of school ahead as students in the UK are usually at least 18 when they start university. Given A levels and equivalents are 2 year courses, she will probably need to drop back a year from her correct aged cohort to start a 2 year course. I can’t see her attending non-advanced education being a problem, so she would be doing 2 full years at school/ college as a first step toward university. To satisfy the 3 year rule to qualify as a UK student, she would need to delay starting her course by one more year. A year out travelling or working to save money isn’t impossible.
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  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,618
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    Would she be able to attend university in New Zealand? It would be cheaper to offer her a couple of flights to the UK each year than pay such expensive fees.
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,734
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    edited 5 December 2023 at 2:04PM
    Batman04 said:
    We are moving back to the UK from New Zealand after 6 years away (due to family illness). We will both be working for the NHS as a physio and a nurse. My daughter is 17 and it looks like she's going to have to be an international student. She wants to go to Bath University but we can't afford the 27,000/year fees.
    Has anyone else encountered this? Is there any way around it? I don't think we qualify for any benefits but I'm so overwhelmed by trying to research this I'm hoping someone might give us a quick answer.
    I can;t see you being eligible for any UK benefits without paying any UK tax for the last few years. Are you eligible for any support from New Zealand?
    I’m not sure that is true. There are plenty of people who’ve never paid tax but live on benefits. That said, with two incomes you are unlikely to qualify. 


    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
  • Thanks all! We won't be leaving for another few months yet until we get sorted out our finances/home etc.
    To answer: I asked her if she would stay in New Zealand and she freaked out at that idea. She wants to come home with us.
    We have thought about the year out and it's a possibility, especially as it would save a year of international tuition. But she will have for sure finished her schooling so won't be going to school in the uk and will go directly to uni (unless a gap year). 
    OK so it looks like we are just going to have to pay the 27,000GBP for 2 years... it's stuff like this that won't persuade people to come back to work in the NHS!!!
  • For 27k a year - make sure it’s a degree that will actually lead to decent employment opportunities 
  • It is a good solid profession for sure. 
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,734
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    Batman04 said:
    Thanks all! We won't be leaving for another few months yet until we get sorted out our finances/home etc.
    To answer: I asked her if she would stay in New Zealand and she freaked out at that idea. She wants to come home with us.
    We have thought about the year out and it's a possibility, especially as it would save a year of international tuition. But she will have for sure finished her schooling so won't be going to school in the uk and will go directly to uni (unless a gap year). 
    OK so it looks like we are just going to have to pay the 27,000GBP for 2 years... it's stuff like this that won't persuade people to come back to work in the NHS!!!
    To be fair, if you had come back 3 years ago, she would have met the residency requirements.

    do check that the international student classification lasts only until she has completed 3 years residency. It may be that if she doesn’t qualify as a resident and is an international student at the start of the course, she remains one for the whole course.

    you may also want to check if she would be eligible for the maintenance loan as well as the fees loan; if not there is even more to fund.
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
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