Date Legislation considered: 19 May 2022
Date Legislation in Force: 13 April 2022 (for changes to Appendix EU and Appendix EU (Family Permit))
Potential Right(s) Affected: Residence/Discrimination/Equal Treatment
What does the legislation do?
The Explanatory Memorandum states that the purpose of the Regulations is to:-
“provide for tuition fee support for students taking designated higher education short courses during the period beginning on or after 1st September 2022 and ending on or before 1st September 2025. It will provide for tuition fee loans to be available for students undertaking HE short courses in a trial that is part of the pathway towards the Lifelong Loan Entitlement, to be introduced from 2025.”
The short courses which are available in England are part of the UK Government’s piloting of access to a new student finance product designed for learners studying shorter, flexible provision in support of the development of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement.
The Regulations expire on 1st September 2025.
Regulation 3 (and Schedule 1) make provision about which students are eligible for a fee loan. This includes citizens who are within scope of the EU Withdrawal Agreement and EEA EFTA Separation Agreement (subject to their meeting residency requirements). Broadly speaking, EU and EEA EFTA citizens who fall within scope of the Agreements can access tuition fee loans after three years’ residence in the UK, EEA, Switzerland and the overseas territories (where that residence has not been for the purpose of receiving full-time education).
These Regulations do not provide for maintenance loans.
The IMA notes that the Department for Education has chosen in this (as in other student finance legislation) to draft by reference to “persons with protected rights”. Persons with protected rights include not only those citizens who have pre-settled or settled status, but also citizens who applied before 30th June 2021 and are awaiting determination of their application, late applicants and joining family members. This approach provides clarity particularly in the case of late applicants and joining family members.
The IMA raises no issues of concern at this stage, however any citizen experiencing difficulties in exercising their rights are encouraged to report a complaint through the IMA Portal.
Further information about the IMA and guidance on how to report complaints can also be found on the website.