CRWIA for applying a relevant date restriction to student support eligibility criteria for Ukrainian nationals resettled in the UK
1. Brief Summary
To align the eligibility criteria for Ukrainian nationals wishing to undertake an eligible course of Further or Higher Education in Scotland with the general rules on relevant connection to Scotland whereby the individual must be ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date.
This contributes to the following national outcomes:
- We are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society
- We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination
Currently the rules stipulate that the individual requires to be ordinarily resident in Scotland at the point of their funding application. This change in policy will remove the temporary measure in relation to ordinary residence that was put in place in recognition of the fluid nature of the early days of the Russian invasion and align the provision for Ukrainian nationals with the standard residency criteria.
In assessing eligibility for home fee status and student support, the Education Fees (Scotland) Regulations 2022 and the Student Support (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (collectively, “the 2022 Regulations”) provide that the assessment is to be undertaken on the ‘relevant date’. This has sometimes been referred to as being ‘the first day of the first academic year of the course’. The 2022 Regulations allow for 4 different relevant dates depending on the point in the year the course commences.
The relevant date in relation to a course is, for a course starting in the period:
1 August to 31 December – 1 August
1 January to 31 March – 1 January
1 April to 30 June – 1 April; and
1 July to 31 July – 1 July.
Support for Ukrainian nationals
In April 2022, the Scottish Government announced support for Ukrainian nationals fleeing the Russian invasion to Scotland who wished to undertake a course of study in FE/ HE from 2022/23 AY.
When this category was originally introduced into the 2022 Regulations, it was felt necessary to allow for the fact that there was a large number of Ukrainian nationals and their family members fleeing Ukraine at the start of Russian invasion and that they would be continually arriving in the UK throughout this period. The relaxing of this provision was to allow Ukrainian nationals and their family members whose study had been interrupted to start courses in Scotland even if they had arrived after the relevant date for the particular course. This change was considered as a temporary measure to ensure as little disruption as possible to the lives of Ukrainian nationals and their family members and to make allowance for the fluid nature of the situation.
Although the invasion is ongoing, there does appear to be a steady reduction in the numbers of Ukrainians who are coming to the UK under the specific home office schemes and therefore to ensure a consistency of approach across the 2022 Regulations, we are now proposing to remove this temporary allowance.
Start date of relevant proposal: August 2023
Start date of CRWIA process: April 2023
2. Which aspects of the relevant proposal currently affects or will affect children and young people up to the age of 18?
All – the alignment of eligibility to the relevant date will impact all students eligible under this policy.
3. Which groups of children and young people are currently or will be affected by the relevant proposal?
- Ukrainian nationals and their family members (under the age of 18 years) who have fled or are fleeing the Russian invasion;
- Who have arrived or will arrive in the UK under one of the designated Home Office schemes; and
- Wish to undertake a course of study in Scotland in Further/ Higher Education from 2023/24 AY onwards.
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