Scotland: fee status for students starting from August 2021

Last modified: 04 May 2022

This page provides explanations of the amended fees regulations, and relevant guidance, which underpin fee status assessment in Scotland for students commencing study on or after 1 August 2021.

We have asked the Scottish Government for details of how your institution should assess you if you started your course before 1 August 2021 and your circumstances have now changed, for example if you started your course as an 'overseas' fees payer but you now believe you fall within one of the categories of excepted student explained in the information below. The Scottish Government has said to us that students who started their course as a 'home' fee payer in the 2020-21 academic year, or earlier, should be unaffected by the changes in relation to fee status for the duration of that same course. However, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members must apply under the EU Settlement Scheme before 1 July 2021, unless they already hold a different type of immigration permission or are exempt from immigration control.

Remember that, in the context of fees assessment, certain terms mean what is explained for them in the 'Definitions' (at the bottom of this page) and not what you might interpret from an ‘everyday’ understanding of the words.

Categories of eligibility for higher education and further education

Last modified: 04 May 2022

The information below explains the conditions that determine which rate of tuition fee you will be charged on courses of higher education (HE) and further education (FE) in Scotland, if you are starting your course on or after 1 August 2021.

If you are studying in HE, you will be charged one of three levels of fee:

  • a 'home' fee for those who meet all the conditions of one (or more) categories; or
  • a ‘rest of UK’ (‘RUK’) fee – capped at a middle rate roughly equivalent to the 'home' fee charged in England. Under some (but not all) categories, students who are not eligible for a 'home' fee may instead qualify for this 'RUK' fee and institutions agree with the Scottish Government to cap this fee at a middle rate; or
  • a top-rate ‘overseas' fee for all other students. 

If you are studying in FE, we understand from the Scottish Government that there is no option to be charged a ‘rest of UK’ (‘RUK’) fee. Therefore, you will be charged either the 'home' rate or the 'overseas' rate. Find out if your course is in higher education (HE) or further education (FE).

The Scottish Government advises publicly-funded educational institutions in Scotland to determine 'home' fees eligibility using The Education (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, as amended ('the fees regulations'). The Scottish Government published amending fees and Student Support regulations The Education (Fees and Student Support) (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 in January 2021. These amendments will affect eligibility for students who commence a course from on or after 1 August 2021.

In this section, we provide our interpretation of the categories that will appear in the fees regulations with effect from 1 August 2021. The categories appear as numbered paragraphs in the fees regulations; they start at Regulation 3, and then continue in Schedule 1 paragraphs 1 to 13A. We present the categories in the order in which they appear as paragraphs in the fees regulations.

Additionally, Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) has published two guidance documents about the situation for students starting courses in 2021-22 and, where appropriate, we make reference to extra provisions or requirements in these two documents:

UKCISA members can currently access a consolidated version of The Education (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2011, as amended, in the UKCISA manual. See Fees regulations for August 2021 onwards (you will need your UKCISA login details).

Regulation 3: 'Relevant connection' with Scotland

Regulation 3: 'Long residence'

Paragraph 1: 'Person with protected rights' who is also a worker, and family members

Paragraph 2: 'Person with protected rights' who is the child of a former EEA worker

Paragraph 3: ‘Settled' person who utilised a 'right of residence' in the EEA and/or Switzerland, and family members (where 'settled' person is a UK national)

Paragraph 4: Person with refugee status, and family members

Paragraph 5: Person not recognised as a refugee but allowed to remain in the UK, and family members

Paragraph 6: Iraqi national granted indefinite leave to enter the UK under the Locally Engaged Staff Assistance Scheme (Direct Entry), and family members

Paragraph 6A: Syrian (Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme) national, and family members

Paragraph 6B: Afghan (Locally Employed Staff Ex-Gratia Scheme) national, and family members

Paragraph 6C: Person granted stateless leave, and family members

Paragraph 6D: Person granted discretionary leave as a ‘victim of modern slavery’

Paragraph 6E: Person granted leave as a 'Victim of domestic abuse/violence'

Paragraph 6F: Person granted 'Calais leave'

Paragraph 7: Person granted 'temporary protection'

Paragraph 8: Young asylum seeker, or child of an asylum seeker

Paragraph 10: ‘Person with protected rights’, who is an EU national or the family member of an EU national

Paragraph 11: Child of a Swiss national

Paragraph 12: Reciprocal exchange student

Paragraph 13: Child of a Turkish worker

Paragraph 13A: Irish national, ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands or Republic of Ireland

Extra provisions for UK nationals and family members who have been living in the EEA or Switzerland, and UK/EU nationals living in Gibraltar

Definitions and terminology referred to in the categories

Last modified: 04 May 2022

This section explains the words and terms which occur in our information, above. These explanations should not be read in isolation but, instead, combined with the appropriate fee status category.

European Economic Area (EEA)

European Union (EU)

Family members

Ordinary residence

'Person with protected rights'

Relevant date

'Relevant person of Northern Ireland'


UK and Islands