SR71BB
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Hello.

I have a very complicated SFE history and need clarification on where I stand with them. The SFE helpline is useless and the poor, incorrect advice I have received from them over the years has partly led to the situation I am in now.

Is there an independent service I can contact for advice, that can give clear guidance on where I stand with SFE and what the rules are?

Thanks in advance.
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SR71BB
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Report Thread starter 1 year ago
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I'll explain my issue here in case the answer is no, and someone tells me to ask here.

I was initially doing a foundation year. Started in 2015. I am from Northern Ireland and only have an Irish passport, but living in England at the time so had to apply for SFE. SFNI will accept both a British and Irish passport as ID, and accept you as a UK national because they understand the Good Friday Agreement. SFE wouldn't and initially had me as a ROI/EU student even though I stipulated that I was a UK student. They cancelled that application and had me submit another and told me to send my birth certificate as proof. I send my birth certificate but could not get someone to sign the declaration form as they needed to have known me for two years and have a British passport. I was only in England for a year so no one knew me long enough and the people at home only had an Irish passport. After months of arguing and cancelled applications, the issue was only sorted when I called my local MP and had them explain the issue to SFE.

I decided to change university after the foundation year, and started year one somewhere closer to home in England. This university turned out to be atrocious. The teaching was very poor, a lot of the teaching material was just links to a USA university's free material. There were no study areas, lots of cheating, and major issues with accommodation. I also got sick during the year and needed surgery, and whilst I was recovering the university offered no support. That University agreed to compensate me £10,000 for the issues I faced and they acknowledged blame. That £10,000 was returned to SFE by the university. It essentially refunded that years tuition fee.

After talking to SFE I got confirmation from three advisors, over a number of days, that I could leave that University and safely join another and still be fully funded. I agreed to leave that University and I accepted a place at another. When my SFE claim was accessed, I was awarded nothing towards the tuition fee. After contacting SFE again, I was told that all the previous advice I was given was wrong. I had to turn that place down.

My loan is now entering repayments this year. I haven't studied since June 2017. I need to know if I am still eligible for funding as the loan is entering repayments. I also need an explanation for why I was advised multiple times that I could change university a second time and still get a tuition fee loan.
Last edited by SR71BB; 1 year ago
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SFE Isaac
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Report 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by SR71BB)
Hello.

I have a very complicated SFE history and need clarification on where I stand with them. The SFE helpline is useless and the poor, incorrect advice I have received from them over the years has partly led to the situation I am in now.

Is there an independent service I can contact for advice, that can give clear guidance on where I stand with SFE and what the rules are?

Thanks in advance.

(Original post by SR71BB)
I'll explain my issue here in case the answer is no, and someone tells me to ask here.

I was initially doing a foundation year. Started in 2015. I am from Northern Ireland and only have an Irish passport, but living in England at the time so had to apply for SFE. SFNI will accept both a British and Irish passport as ID, and accept you as a UK national because they understand the Good Friday Agreement. SFE wouldn't and initially had me as a ROI/EU student even though I stipulated that I was a UK student. They cancelled that application and had me submit another and told me to send my birth certificate as proof. I send my birth certificate but could not get someone to sign the declaration form as they needed to have known me for two years and have a British passport. I was only in England for a year so no one knew me long enough and the people at home only had an Irish passport. After months of arguing and cancelled applications, the issue was only sorted when I called my local MP and had them explain the issue to SFE.

I decided to change university after the foundation year, and started year one somewhere closer to home in England. This university turned out to be atrocious. The teaching was very poor, a lot of the teaching material was just links to a USA university's free material. There were no study areas, lots of cheating, and major issues with accommodation. I also got sick during the year and needed surgery, and whilst I was recovering the university offered no support. That University agreed to compensate me £10,000 for the issues I faced and they acknowledged blame. That £10,000 was returned to SFE by the university. It essentially refunded that years tuition fee.

After talking to SFE I got confirmation from three advisors, over a number of days, that I could leave that University and safely join another and still be fully funded. I agreed to leave that University and I accepted a place at another. When my SFE claim was accessed, I was awarded nothing towards the tuition fee. After contacting SFE again, I was told that all the previous advice I was given was wrong. I had to turn that place down.

My loan is now entering repayments this year. I haven't studied since June 2017. I need to know if I am still eligible for funding as the loan is entering repayments. I also need an explanation for why I was advised multiple times that I could change university a second time and still get a tuition fee loan.

Hi, you can also contact us on Facebook or Twitter instead of talking on the phone.



I have read through your message, from what I gathered, I think you have 2 years of previous study - is that correct?

When we assess your eligibility for funding, the calculation we use is; (length of new course) + (1 additional year) - (previous study)



So if you study a new 3 year course then the calculation will be 3+1-2 = 2 years of funding and you will have to self fund the first year of the new course unless you have Compelling Personal Reasons http://ow.ly/MsMM30pjjOm
Thanks, Isaac
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SR71BB
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#4
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by SFE Isaac)
(Original post by SR71BB)
Hello.

I have a very complicated SFE history and need clarification on where I stand with them. The SFE helpline is useless and the poor, incorrect advice I have received from them over the years has partly led to the situation I am in now.

Is there an independent service I can contact for advice, that can give clear guidance on where I stand with SFE and what the rules are?

Thanks in advance.

(Original post by SR71BB)
I'll explain my issue here in case the answer is no, and someone tells me to ask here.

I was initially doing a foundation year. Started in 2015. I am from Northern Ireland and only have an Irish passport, but living in England at the time so had to apply for SFE. SFNI will accept both a British and Irish passport as ID, and accept you as a UK national because they understand the Good Friday Agreement. SFE wouldn't and initially had me as a ROI/EU student even though I stipulated that I was a UK student. They cancelled that application and had me submit another and told me to send my birth certificate as proof. I send my birth certificate but could not get someone to sign the declaration form as they needed to have known me for two years and have a British passport. I was only in England for a year so no one knew me long enough and the people at home only had an Irish passport. After months of arguing and cancelled applications, the issue was only sorted when I called my local MP and had them explain the issue to SFE.

I decided to change university after the foundation year, and started year one somewhere closer to home in England. This university turned out to be atrocious. The teaching was very poor, a lot of the teaching material was just links to a USA university's free material. There were no study areas, lots of cheating, and major issues with accommodation. I also got sick during the year and needed surgery, and whilst I was recovering the university offered no support. That University agreed to compensate me £10,000 for the issues I faced and they acknowledged blame. That £10,000 was returned to SFE by the university. It essentially refunded that years tuition fee.

After talking to SFE I got confirmation from three advisors, over a number of days, that I could leave that University and safely join another and still be fully funded. I agreed to leave that University and I accepted a place at another. When my SFE claim was accessed, I was awarded nothing towards the tuition fee. After contacting SFE again, I was told that all the previous advice I was given was wrong. I had to turn that place down.

My loan is now entering repayments this year. I haven't studied since June 2017. I need to know if I am still eligible for funding as the loan is entering repayments. I also need an explanation for why I was advised multiple times that I could change university a second time and still get a tuition fee loan.

Hi, you can also contact us on Facebook or Twitter instead of talking on the phone.



I have read through your message, from what I gathered, I think you have 2 years of previous study - is that correct?

When we assess your eligibility for funding, the calculation we use is; (length of new course) + (1 additional year) - (previous study)



So if you study a new 3 year course then the calculation will be 3+1-2 = 2 years of funding and you will have to self fund the first year of the new course unless you have Compelling Personal Reasons http://ow.ly/MsMM30pjjOm
Thanks, Isaac
I've been informed by letter and email that the loan has now entered the repayment phase.

Am I still able to use the remaining years if SFE is saying it must now be repaid?
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SFE Isaac
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#5
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#5
(Original post by SR71BB)
I've been informed by letter and email that the loan has now entered the repayment phase.

Am I still able to use the remaining years if SFE is saying it must now be repaid?
You have not studied since 2017 so when you apply for funding you will be classed as a new student. You won't repay your old loan if you are still a student, only when you are working and earning above the threshold.
Thanks, Isaac
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