The Student Room Group

Switching university part way through second year

Hi, this may be a long post.
I am currently at university in Lancaster on a Primary Education course, and have just finished my first term of second year.
Due to a lot of personal factors, I no longer wish to be so far away from home (from Birmingham) and have spent the majority of last term at home.
I have been thinking about switching university for a while and I have applied for a different course at a university in Birmingham for a January start.

If I get onto the course (I have more than double the UCAS points it requires as it has a foundation year so I am hopeful) how difficult would it be to switch university and what are the steps?

Thanks!

Update: I have been offered and confirmed a place at the new university.
I already have a maintenance loan and tuition for sfe, would they be able to switch where they pay tuition?
(edited 1 year ago)

Scroll to see replies

You will not be able to switch to anything mid-year. The best you can hope for is an offer to restart Year 2 in September, but be aware that most Unis are overfull from successive years of inflated grades and many wont accept any transfers applications at all.

Once Unis aer back after Christmas (3 Jan), phone them and ask if they would accept a 2nd year applications, what grades they want etc, and if they say yes, you need to apply through UCAS before 25 January. And Unis will want a reference from your current Uni for safegauarding reasons.
Original post by McGinger
You will not be able to switch to anything mid-year. The best you can hope for is an offer to restart Year 2 in September, but be aware that most Unis are overfull from successive years of inflated grades and many wont accept any transfers applications at all.

Once Unis aer back after Christmas (3 Jan), phone them and ask if they would accept a 2nd year applications, what grades they want etc, and if they say yes, you need to apply through UCAS before 25 January. And Unis will want a reference from your current Uni for safegauarding reasons.


I have been offered a place and accepted for the university I’ve applied for.
Original post by daisymae123
I have been offered a place and accepted for the university I’ve applied for.


So what exactly is your question.
Are you talking more about the steps in terms of actual logistics then, if you've already been offered the place? You'd be best off speaking to the admissions team of the university you're moving to, and personal tutor etc of the one that you are leaving.
Original post by daisymae123
Hi, this may be a long post.
I am currently at university in Lancaster on a Primary Education course, and have just finished my first term of second year.
Due to a lot of personal factors, I no longer wish to be so far away from home (from Birmingham) and have spent the majority of last term at home.
I have been thinking about switching university for a while and I have applied for a different course at a university in Birmingham for a January start.

If I get onto the course (I have more than double the UCAS points it requires as it has a foundation year so I am hopeful) how difficult would it be to switch university and what are the steps?

Thanks!
Honestly the biggest issue/barrier is finance. If you're midway through second year, you will need to self fund at least one year of tuition fees at the new uni, unless you have extenuating circumstances you can use to apply for Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR). Also note that when you have this situation, it's the FIRST year in the new course you have to self fund tuition fees. That is a big ask on short notice, so be fully aware of those financial implications.
Original post by McGinger
So what exactly is your question.

The question is as stated?
I’m wondering what the steps are, particularly with student finance etc.
I feel as though this is quite passive aggressive.
Original post by artful_lounger
Honestly the biggest issue/barrier is finance. If you're midway through second year, you will need to self fund at least one year of tuition fees at the new uni, unless you have extenuating circumstances you can use to apply for Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR). Also note that when you have this situation, it's the FIRST year in the new course you have to self fund tuition fees. That is a big ask on short notice, so be fully aware of those financial implications.


Could student finance not just switch the university they are paying to? I do have a confirmed entitlement for this year already.
I am aware my maintenance loan will be affected and I will be able to self fund the next term but I was under the impression that they would be able to switch where my tuition is paid to. As I am no longer going to be studying at the university in Lancaster, they surely would not pay them the tuition.
Original post by daisymae123
Could student finance not just switch the university they are paying to? I do have a confirmed entitlement for this year already.
I am aware my maintenance loan will be affected and I will be able to self fund the next term but I was under the impression that they would be able to switch where my tuition is paid to. As I am no longer going to be studying at the university in Lancaster, they surely would not pay them the tuition.

No, it doesn't work like that. You get a finite amount of tuition fee funding from SFE - equal to the length of your current course + one year - the number of years of prior study. The only way you could avoid having to pay tuition fees out of pocket would be to transfer directly into second or third year (it's extremely unlikely you would be able to transfer into third year of a degree).

So you would have, assuming the new course is 3 years and you start in 1st year, 3 + 1 -2 = 2 years of funding entitlement, and since this is worked out backwards from final year it means you would need to self fund the first year in the new course. You would be eligible for a maintenance loan in all years normally.

Unfortunately you are liable for tuition for a course if you study more than a certain amount of it (usually two weeks of a term), and SFE doesn't do "partial" years of funding in those calculations, and round down. Thus, 2 years of funding.

I have been in this situation myself and it is extremely challenging. The only potential silver lining is that part-time degrees are funded by a separate model and prior full time study isn't considered when assessing eligibility for part-time study tuition fees.
Original post by artful_lounger
No, it doesn't work like that. You get a finite amount of tuition fee funding from SFE - equal to the length of your current course + one year - the number of years of prior study. The only way you could avoid having to pay tuition fees out of pocket would be to transfer directly into second or third year (it's extremely unlikely you would be able to transfer into third year of a degree).

So you would have, assuming the new course is 3 years and you start in 1st year, 3 + 1 -2 = 2 years of funding entitlement, and since this is worked out backwards from final year it means you would need to self fund the first year in the new course. You would be eligible for a maintenance loan in all years normally.

Unfortunately you are liable for tuition for a course if you study more than a certain amount of it (usually two weeks of a term), and SFE doesn't do "partial" years of funding in those calculations, and round down. Thus, 2 years of funding.

I have been in this situation myself and it is extremely challenging. The only potential silver lining is that part-time degrees are funded by a separate model and prior full time study isn't considered when assessing eligibility for part-time study tuition fees.

thanks for the reply,
It’s not a part time degree - it’s a full time 4 year degree.
Surely I do not have to pay the whole year of tuition fees to my old university if I won’t be studying there for the entire year? That sounds crazy. There must surely be a way around that?

It would’ve been easier if they could just transfer where they pay the tuition. Student finance can be very difficult to deal with and I’m dreading this.

Is it worth contacting my new university about this?
Original post by daisymae123
thanks for the reply,
It’s not a part time degree - it’s a full time 4 year degree.
Surely I do not have to pay the whole year of tuition fees to my old university if I won’t be studying there for the entire year? That sounds crazy. There must surely be a way around that?

It would’ve been easier if they could just transfer where they pay the tuition. Student finance can be very difficult to deal with and I’m dreading this.

Is it worth contacting my new university about this?


Honestly there isn't really a way around this. I know that it sucks, having been there myself, but that is their policy, it's not changed since I had that situation and unfortunately it seems unlikely to change in the near future. Student finance won't budge on this. Your new university can't override that, or really do much than at best offer you any bursaries or similar you may be eligible for.

You would be eligible for a maintenance loan, best case scenario you can somehow figure out your costs of living at the new uni, make a payment plan with the uni for your tuition fees to match the maintenance loan disbursement, and have your whole maintenance loan for first year go towards paying tuition fees. Otherwise you will probably need to look at deferring entry to spend a year working full time and saving as much as you can to use that towards the tuition fees.
Original post by artful_lounger
Honestly there isn't really a way around this. I know that it sucks, having been there myself, but that is their policy, it's not changed since I had that situation and unfortunately it seems unlikely to change in the near future. Student finance won't budge on this. Your new university can't override that, or really do much than at best offer you any bursaries or similar you may be eligible for.

You would be eligible for a maintenance loan, best case scenario you can somehow figure out your costs of living at the new uni, make a payment plan with the uni for your tuition fees to match the maintenance loan disbursement, and have your whole maintenance loan for first year go towards paying tuition fees. Otherwise you will probably need to look at deferring entry to spend a year working full time and saving as much as you can to use that towards the tuition fees.

It says this on the Government website: If you are applying for a 4 year course and have studied 2 years of a different course, you’ll get 3 years of funding.
So I would only have to fund one year?
It also says if I leave during or after first term that I am only liable for 25% of the tuition fees which works out at around £2000 and something. They have already received the payment for first term from student finance.
This is all very stressful :frown:
I am planning on living at home so I would not necessarily need money for living costs.
Reply 12
Yeah so this year you would count as a ‘+1’ year. That means you would have three years of funding left on a 4 year course as you have completed one full year (you are eligible for 5 years of funding in total) . You usually get the length of your course + 1 year of funding. I switched unis after my 1st year. The process was easy you just had to apply for a transfer at your uni and also apply for another uni on UCAS again. You will have to notify student finance as well to let them know you have changed course and uni.
Original post by daisymae123
It says this on the Government website: If you are applying for a 4 year course and have studied 2 years of a different course, you’ll get 3 years of funding.
So I would only have to fund one year?
It also says if I leave during or after first term that I am only liable for 25% of the tuition fees which works out at around £2000 and something. They have already received the payment for first term from student finance.
This is all very stressful :frown:
I am planning on living at home so I would not necessarily need money for living costs.

Bear in mind if you are living at home you get a reduced maintenance loan, so make sure to factor that in. Whether or not SFE pays for the whole year of tuition fees is irrelevant though, as their calculation is based on whole years of prior study, which gets rounded up. You start a year and they pay any tuition fees, that's one year. You have been liable for any amount of tuition so, it will count as a whole year.

Yes, the government website is correct, for a 4 year course you'd have 3 years of funding. 4 + 1 -2 = 3; same calculation as before, but the length of the current degree is longer so you correspondingly have an additional year of funding. However as noted, the self funded year is always the first one (and so on until you can be funded for the rest of the course). So you still need to have that sorted out before you start there.

I understand the stress of it, which is why I'm telling you - better to at least be prepared for that and think of possible ways to deal with it than to walk right into it without knowing (which is what I did :s-smilie: ). I'd suggest looking to see if the reduced maintenance loan would be enough to cover the tuition fees by itself as you're living at home. If not, you should look into how much you can earn between now and then if you manage to get some kind of minimum wage job ASAP and work full time from now till the new academic year while living at home. If that plus the reduced maintenance loan is enough, then hopefully that can work out (you still need the uni to agree to a payment plan for the tuition fees though assuming you are using the maintenance loan for some in that case). If not, you probably need to see if you can defer the offer for year, withdraw from your current course, move home and find a job as above but work that for the whole "gap" year to save up.
Original post by Khakhi
Yeah so this year you would count as a ‘+1’ year. That means you would have three years of funding left on a 4 year course as you have completed one full year (you are eligible for 5 years of funding in total) . You usually get the length of your course + 1 year of funding. I switched unis after my 1st year. The process was easy you just had to apply for a transfer at your uni and also apply for another uni on UCAS again. You will have to notify student finance as well to let them know you have changed course and uni.

I think the problem is that I have already completed term one of second year at my old university.
I’ve already got the place at the new university, and I have emailed to withdraw from my old one. I’m just not sure how to fund tuition for the first year (fast track foundation) on my own.
Reply 15
Original post by daisymae123
I think the problem is that I have already completed term one of second year at my old university.
I’ve already got the place at the new university, and I have emailed to withdraw from my old one. I’m just not sure how to fund tuition for the first year (fast track foundation) on my own.


Speak to your finance department, they are usually very good at finding bursaries that you might not of thought you were eligible for.
Original post by artful_lounger
Bear in mind if you are living at home you get a reduced maintenance loan, so make sure to factor that in. Whether or not SFE pays for the whole year of tuition fees is irrelevant though, as their calculation is based on whole years of prior study, which gets rounded up. You start a year and they pay any tuition fees, that's one year. You have been liable for any amount of tuition so, it will count as a whole year.

Yes, the government website is correct, for a 4 year course you'd have 3 years of funding. 4 + 1 -2 = 3; same calculation as before, but the length of the current degree is longer so you correspondingly have an additional year of funding. However as noted, the self funded year is always the first one (and so on until you can be funded for the rest of the course). So you still need to have that sorted out before you start there.

I understand the stress of it, which is why I'm telling you - better to at least be prepared for that and think of possible ways to deal with it than to walk right into it without knowing (which is what I did :s-smilie: ). I'd suggest looking to see if the reduced maintenance loan would be enough to cover the tuition fees by itself as you're living at home. If not, you should look into how much you can earn between now and then if you manage to get some kind of minimum wage job ASAP and work full time from now till the new academic year while living at home. If that plus the reduced maintenance loan is enough, then hopefully that can work out (you still need the uni to agree to a payment plan for the tuition fees though assuming you are using the maintenance loan for some in that case). If not, you probably need to see if you can defer the offer for year, withdraw from your current course, move home and find a job as above but work that for the whole "gap" year to save up.


There’s an integrated fast track foundation year on my course starting in January.
Would I still receive my maintenance loan for the rest of this year (obviously altered due to change in living circumstances)? The calculator says I should get around £7000 for living at home.

I do already have a job, but it doesn’t pay enough to cover the price of tuition for the foundation year.
It’s a shame they cannot just allow you to choose which year you fund yourself :wink:

What did you do?
Original post by artful_lounger
Bear in mind if you are living at home you get a reduced maintenance loan, so make sure to factor that in. Whether or not SFE pays for the whole year of tuition fees is irrelevant though, as their calculation is based on whole years of prior study, which gets rounded up. You start a year and they pay any tuition fees, that's one year. You have been liable for any amount of tuition so, it will count as a whole year.

Yes, the government website is correct, for a 4 year course you'd have 3 years of funding. 4 + 1 -2 = 3; same calculation as before, but the length of the current degree is longer so you correspondingly have an additional year of funding. However as noted, the self funded year is always the first one (and so on until you can be funded for the rest of the course). So you still need to have that sorted out before you start there.

I understand the stress of it, which is why I'm telling you - better to at least be prepared for that and think of possible ways to deal with it than to walk right into it without knowing (which is what I did :s-smilie: ). I'd suggest looking to see if the reduced maintenance loan would be enough to cover the tuition fees by itself as you're living at home. If not, you should look into how much you can earn between now and then if you manage to get some kind of minimum wage job ASAP and work full time from now till the new academic year while living at home. If that plus the reduced maintenance loan is enough, then hopefully that can work out (you still need the uni to agree to a payment plan for the tuition fees though assuming you are using the maintenance loan for some in that case). If not, you probably need to see if you can defer the offer for year, withdraw from your current course, move home and find a job as above but work that for the whole "gap" year to save up.

Sorry for so many replies, I really appreciate your help.
Would it be easier to start at year 1 in September (so I would still have my three years of funding) and then just work up until then?
Would student finance then pay my tuition for the rest of the year at my old university?
Original post by daisymae123
There’s an integrated fast track foundation year on my course starting in January.
Would I still receive my maintenance loan for the rest of this year (obviously altered due to change in living circumstances)? The calculator says I should get around £7000 for living at home.

I do already have a job, but it doesn’t pay enough to cover the price of tuition for the foundation year.
It’s a shame they cannot just allow you to choose which year you fund yourself :wink:

What did you do?

That's pretty unusual to have a January start. SFE get a bit funny about mixing January start courses with September start courses - you need to check with SFE how that will work out. I know that they have issues with it for OU students who do that.

In my case it was when tuition fees were lower before they got bumped up to 9k a year, so my maintenance loan covered the tuition fee costs and through a combination of family support and part-time work I was able to afford my accommodation for the year. Of course then I went and left/changed course again so now I'm just studying part-time primarily for that reason of finance...
Original post by artful_lounger
That's pretty unusual to have a January start. SFE get a bit funny about mixing January start courses with September start courses - you need to check with SFE how that will work out. I know that they have issues with it for OU students who do that.

In my case it was when tuition fees were lower before they got bumped up to 9k a year, so my maintenance loan covered the tuition fee costs and through a combination of family support and part-time work I was able to afford my accommodation for the year. Of course then I went and left/changed course again so now I'm just studying part-time primarily for that reason of finance...


It’s a fast track foundation year (Jan-July), how come they’re funny with it? I could possibly defer to September start and start from year 1 in September.
If I chose to do that, would SFE use my current application to pay for this years tuition if I’m liable?

Quick Reply

Latest