We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site


The Scottish Government remains committed to access to higher education for eligible students based on the ability to learn and not the ability to pay, with eligibility continuing to be based on residency.

In the pages in this web section you will find information on the residency criteria used by colleges for further education courses and bursaries.

If you are thinking about applying to a college in Scotland you will need to give information about where you have lived when you apply.

What is residence?

Simply put, residence is where you have lived over a set period of time, your reason for living there and where you live now. Once a college has this information it will be able to decide if you meet the residency criteria and if you will be eligible to have your course fees paid and given a bursary to support you.

To be 'ordinarily resident' in a country you should live in that country year after year by choice for a set period of time. This also allows you to have temporary or occasional absences for things like holidays or business trips and may also cover you if you or your family are temporarily employed abroad.

In most cases you will not be treated as ‘ordinarily resident’ in Scotland if the main purpose for you coming here is to study and you would normally be living somewhere else.

Why does it matter?

The fee you will be charged for studying in Scotland and your eligibility for bursary are determined with reference to your residence rather than your nationality or place of birth.

Using information on your residency enables colleges to ensure you are charged the correct fee and given a bursary, based on your individual personal circumstances.

Are the rules for further and higher education the same?

The residency rules for higher education and further education differ slightly meaning that people who are asylum seekers who have not yet been given any form of leave to remanin in the UK from the Home Office may still have their course fee paid for them if they are attending a full or part-time English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESoL) course or a part-time non-advanced/ advanced course, at a college.

Further education courses are those lower than an undergraduate degree.