University Students with Multiple Citizenships and Uk Universities
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University Students with Multiple Citizenships and Uk Universities

In the UK, Universities are known to charge 'overseas rates' to non-EU students. Because of these rates, individual students have often seen their admission fees multiplied by ten, fifty or more, on the basis that they have not 'resided' or have not been born in the right country in the past. As enraging as this seems, each University is fully able to judge if a student should be charged such fees according to their own criteria, and the overseas rates themselves vary from one University to the next. The academic average of the student generally has nothing to do with this decision. Furthermore, some students are, unfortunately for them, taxed the overseas rates without proper justification. This article, written by a student, is destined to help other students who have multiple citizenship – especially those who have a first citizenship which pertains to the EU and a second one which does not – become aware of this harrowing predicament, if not avoid it altogether.

In the UK, Universities are known to charge 'overseas rates' to non-EU students. Because of these rates, individual students have often seen their admission fees multiplied by ten, fifty or more, on the basis that they have not 'resided' or have not been born in the right country in the past. As enraging as this seems, each University is fully able to judge if a student should be charged such fees according to their own criteria, and the overseas rates themselves vary from one University to the next. The academic average of the student generally has nothing to do with this decision. Furthermore, some students are, unfortunately for them, taxed the overseas rates without proper justification. This article, written by a student, is destined to help other students who have multiple citizenship – especially those who have a first citizenship which pertains to the EU and a second one which does not – become aware of this harrowing predicament, if not avoid it altogether.

The first thing the applying student should remember is that one should never take for granted that Universities will automatically offer the lower EU rates to a student with at least one extra-European nationality. In fact, a student with a Spanish-Canadian nationality is probably just as vulnerable to overseas rates as a student from Turkmenistan. Hence, sadly, Commonwealth traditions have very little impact on a University's decision. Apparently, all UK Universities are free to establish their own arbitrary criteria regarding the 'fee status' of students to justify overseas rates. They may, for example, state that one must have worked full-time in the EU for ten consecutive years to become a EU resident (which in turn would make full-time studying impossible in many cases).

In theory, if a student is imposed overseas rates, he may appeal, but this often does not change the outcome of the decision, as academic establishments, financially speaking, have apparently nothing to loose in attempting to gain as may overseas students who are willing to pay the rates as possible. The best way for a student to fight against this unfortunate aspect of academic life in the UK is to plan in advance, especially by getting informed on which scholarships he may be eligible for. While one's situation is not always as clear-cut as some of the funding conditions, a quick phone call to the University in question can help an applying student find the funding corresponding to his situation.

This article, even though it criticizes unsaid administrative conventions, does not intend to devalue Universities in the UK. Simply, its goal is simply to help foreign students – although without guaranteeing anything – by informing them of some of the many obstacles which lie ahead.

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