Treat me as a Home Student in my Home

Treat me as a Home Student in my Home

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Petition to
University of the West of England and

Why this petition matters

Started by Benjamin Long

I have returned to my home after 13 years and I am being treated like an alien in my place of birth. I have applied to go to University in the UK successfully but I have been denied the right to be treated as a home student, despite the fact that I was born in the UK, hold British Citizenship and a UK Passport. Parts of my family live here and if my fee status remains as overseas/international then I will be forced to return to Australia as I will not be able to pay the fees. This will mean leaving my Gran (who is well into her 80s) and my Auntie (who has myalgic encephalomyelitis) without the help that I can offer them around the house and with everyday activities. We all know the amount of debt that students accumulate through university fees and this is definitely not helping the situation.

I ask you to sign this petition to change the way in which fee status is determined. This not just for me, this for all the people who hold British citizenship and wish to return to their home country to complete University but are denied the right to do so.

Read my story below:

I left the UK for Australia when I was 4 and recently I decided to return to my home in the December of 2018 to spend some time with my extended family. My initial plans were to spend a year in the UK and return to Australia for University in 2020. A couple of months had passed and I decided that I would like to stay in my home country for a more permanent period of time, so in the February of 2019 I began the process of applying to Universities in the UK. 

A few weeks after my application was submitted, I began to receive offers for the different courses I had applied for. In particular, 2 courses at the University of the West of England (UWE) and 1 course through UWE at an external campus. I received unconditional offers on all three of these courses. 

The next step was to determine my fee status and hence what type of fees I would pay (International/Overseas or Home/EU). Being born in the UK and hence a British Citizen, who holds a British Passport (within which it states my nationality is British), and a national insurance number since birth, I assumed, as I believe anyone would, that I would be a home student. This would mean that I would be able to take out a loan from the government to be able to pay my tuition fees and attend University in the UK.

However, to my disappointment, disapproval and surprise I was determined as an international/overseas student. Yes, you read that correctly. An individual who was born in the UK, holds British Citizenship and a British Passport had somehow been determined as an overseas student. To make matters worse, I was left in the dark as to the reasoning for this decision and was forced to chase it down myself.

When the University got back to me, they stated that the reasoning behind this decision was that I had not been residing in the UK for 3 years and that I had not kept dual residency in the UK and Australia. This is correct, I have not resided in the UK for 3 years, but this is hardly a fault of mine and for this factor to overrule my British nationality, citizenship and passport seems absurd and many of the individuals I have spoken to agree.

Keep in mind that the move to Australia is something that I had no control over whatsoever and whilst it is hardly the worst place to live my point still stands. I left the UK when I was 4 and therefore didn't have any say in the decision and lived with my parents in Australia until I could feasibly come back to the UK. 

This decision is not something that should be taken lightly. If my fee status remains as international/overseas I will not be able to take out a loan for my fees and will simply not be able to pay for them. This means that I will have to return to Australia and complete University there, leaving my Gran and Auntie behind and without the help I can offer them, which they really need. This is especially the case as my Uncle recently died of a heart attack without warning, he was an incredibly fit, healthy and active man. He would often help my Gran and Auntie with jobs around the house and would drive them to the places they needed to go. 

This isn't just about tuition fee statuses and loans, this is about the effect the decisions made by the Government and Universities have on the broader picture and I believe the current rules and regulations do not leave enough legroom for the whole picture to be considered.

I know this isn't a cause that is as noble as some of the great work that has been done on this site but I implore you to support me in my quest to be treated as a home student, in my home, by signing this petition and standing up for change in how fee status is determined by Universities and the UK Government.

Kind Regards,


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