Students returning from study abroad due to Coronavirus

Information for students returning from study abroad in countries affected by Coronavirus

12 March 2020

Due to the situation arising from Coronavirus, students have been contacting us for advice on what will happen to their student funding if they return to the UK earlier than expected. This may affect their student finance depending on what they choose to do. Our Assessment department has provided further guidance for students who are currently studying in countries affected by Coronavirus.

Suspensions and transfers

Some students may choose to suspend their studies for the remainder of the academic year and either repeat the year abroad, repeat the term abroad or choose to move into their final year of study in the 2020/21 academic year. You need to submit a CoC to confirm the date the student returned to the UK, this will allow us to calculate if they have been abroad for more than half of the term and allow us to change the amount of tuition fee if applicable.

It is unlikely that students will transfer to another course, but if they do, they would follow the standard CoC process.

You can find more information about CoCs in the CoC quick guides.


Students would have received payment for their full year at the study abroad rate, if they are in overpayment as a result of their return to the UK we will recover this from future payments as standard.

Any SFW and SFE students who suffer financial hardship as a result can apply to the Financial Hardship Team to defer any overpayment recovery. You can download a Financial Hardship Form here.

SFNI Students who apply to SFNI should contact their local EA.

SAAS Students who apply through SAAS are paid on a monthly basis therefore no changes are usually made to their payment schedule. The FHT will not process any SAAS payments. This also applies if the student is studying at an English HEP.

Travel Grant

Students will be able to claim the cost of a flight home.

They need to have

  • evidence of the standard travel grant
  • a travel grant claim form
  • a letter from the HEP confirming their early return due to the situation in the country of study arising form Coronavirus

Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR)

Students will be able to apply for CPR to repeat their placement if they do not have enough standard entitlement remaining. The student needs to send a letter to their Award Authority (SFE /SFW / SFNI) detailing their CPR along with any evidence of their mitigating circumstances. We consider requests for CPR on a case-by-case basis when we receive the application and evidence required. 


This information is subject to change and will be removed from the website when it is no longer relevant.