Changes to residency criteria for access to financial support in Further and Higher Education

Closed 31 Mar 2023

Opened 24 Jan 2023

Feedback updated 12 May 2023

We asked

Following a judicial review hearing at the Court of Session, the Court issued a decision in the case of Ola Jasim v Scottish Ministers [2022] CSOH 64 on 9 September 2022.

At the time of the Court’s decision, Scottish Ministers gave an undertaking to review the residency eligibility criteria in advance of the 2023/24 Academic Year (AY) which commences on 1 August 2023.

We asked for views on the residency eligibility conditions that should be considered as part of any new Regulations for the 2023/24 AY.

The Consultation ran from 24th January 2023 to 31st March 2023.

You said

We received 131 responses. 31 were received from organisations primarily based in Scotland, 97 from individuals, and 3 from campaign groups.

Respondents were generally supportive of eligible students requiring a relevant connection to Scotland, including asylum seekers.

The Consultation also highlighted that added flexibility should be considered to the current eligibility rules to enable students to become eligible for funding part way through a course. The current residency conditions determine eligibility at the start of a course.

There were a number of responses in the consultation in relation to armed forces personnel and/or their dependants. Several bodies representing various factions of the Armed Forces were critical of the current policies around access to home fee status and student financial support.

We did

The Scottish Government has published a comprehensive response to the consultation findings at https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781805258445. This outlines the changes that are being made in legislation for the 2023/24 AY around the relevant connection to Scotland and support for some asylum seekers.

The Report also highlights some areas where it was not possible to reach a conclusion on and address in the current regulatory timescales. Scottish Government officials will consider these matters further and acknowledge that many of the stakeholder groups who responded to the consultation noted their willingness to engage in more detail on the matter. 

The Scottish Government would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide a written response to the consultation exercise and who took the time to meet with officials especially those individuals who had been adversely impacted by the previous long residence rules.

Results updated 12 May 2023

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Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

Following a judicial review hearing at the Court of Session, the Court issued a decision in the case of Ola Jasim v Scottish Ministers [2022] CSOH 64 on 9 September 2022.

The Court declared paragraph 1(c)(ii) and (iii) of schedule 1 of the Students’ Allowances (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (“the 2007 Regulations”) (known as ‘long residence rules’) to be unlawful in light of Article 14 of, and Article 2 of the Protocol 1 to, the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Court found that the long residence rules failed to strike a fair balance between the impact they had on those excluded from eligibility for student support and the likely benefit to society of having clear rules restricting funding to those with a connection to Scotland.

The Scottish Ministers have given careful consideration to the decision of the Court in Jasim and have considered several options to address this. As a remedy for those students who were impacted by the 2007 Regulations, a Payment Scheme was launched in December 2022 to provide financial support.

Although the Court’s decision was in relation to regulations which have now been revoked, Ministers have given an undertaking to review the residency criteria contained within paragraph 1 of schedule 1 of the 2022 Regulations and this consultation forms part of this work.

We now want to hear your views on the residency conditions that will form part of new Regulations.

Read the consultation paper 

Why your views matter

Everyone with an interest in accessing Further and Higher Education. Whether this be by working in the university or college sector, is an organisation operating within the sector, is an organisation with an interest in immigration and residency eligiblity, or you are a past/present/future student who has an interest in the residency criteria in porder to access financial support to study.

We need as many views as possible to help shape residency eligibility for the future in order to access financial support.

Interests

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