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Foreign Students: USA

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what changes have been made to the rules in respect of financial support for British students travelling to the US since the Prime Minister’s article in The Wall Street Journal on 16 April 2008. (268643)

The Prime Minister said,

“I can give a commitment that British students who need financial support to pay the travel costs of taking up a term of study in the U.S. will receive that support.”

The provisions for eligible students travelling to the USA are as follows:

A grant for travel is available to eligible students in respect of reasonable expenditure which they are obliged to incur in a qualifying quarter of their course, for the purpose of taking up a term of study at an overseas institution including one in the USA. A qualifying quarter is one in which the student is required to attend the overseas institution for at least half the length of the period covered by that quarter.

The grant for travel meets the costs of:

travel within and outside the UK in order to attend the university or college including airfares

medical insurance for treatment provided outside the United Kingdom

visas required to attend the overseas institution

medical costs incurred to meet a mandatory condition of entry into a country (e.g. vaccination costs).

Except for the first £295 of travel costs incurred, eligible students from households with incomes of up to £39,796 may be entitled to have all their reasonable travel related expenditure met by the grant for travel. Income over £39,796 is taken into account and reduces the amount of travel related expenditure that the grant will cover. Income is taken into account at the rate of £1 for each £9.27 over £39,796, subject to a maximum income contribution of £6,210.

DIUS has responsibility for higher education in England only. The devolved Administrations have responsibility for it in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.