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UCU Scotland welcome fee waivers for asylum-seekers

3 August 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU Scotland praises the decision by the Scottish Government to waive undergraduate university fees for asylum-seekers.

Even when refugees meet the criteria for Scottish domiciled student fees, some universities have classed them as overseas students, making them liable for fees of up to £24,000 per year.

UCU Scotland's congress in March called on universities here to partially waive fees for asylum-seekers so they'd be at the level for home students.

The children of asylum-seekers are entitled to free education in Scottish schools, and, as a consequence, some have achieved very high marks. But in many instances they've been prevented from studying at university by being charged overseas' students' fees.

Normally, students resident in Britain for longer than three years pay fees at the home student level. However asylum-seekers may have been living in Scotland for up to seven years but still be charged international fees.

Terry Brotherstone, UCU Scotland president, said: 'The charging of fees to refugees who have no means to pay was absurd. We have been pressing for this iniquitous policy to be changed and are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary for Education Fiona Hyslop MSP agreed.

'This brings all Scottish universities into line with those who had already sensibly waived fees for their tiny number of refugee students.'

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