The Student Room Group

Postgraduate Funding - SAAS and SFE Confusion

Hello,

For the last three years, I've been completing an undergraduate degree via distance learning with the Open University. I started my degree in England, so it was funded through SFE.

A year and a half ago, I moved to Scotland. I continued with my distance learning degree and did not change to a Scottish institution. Funding continued through SFE, since the degree began in England.

I'm starting my postgraduate at a Scottish institution this September. I've been told by SAAS that I do not meet their eligibility criteria, as:

"We do not count any period that you are in Scotland only or mainly for full-time education as ordinary residence. As you are studying a postgraduate course straight after your first course of higher education, you must apply to the same organisation that gave you funding for your first course."

I don't understand why this is - for no period of time so far have I attended a Scottish institution. I have been ordinarily resident in Scotland for over a year as it's clear I didn't move here for the purpose of education - otherwise I would have switched to a Scottish institution partway through my undergraduate, surely? Do I even meet the SFE eligibility criteria any more? It won't let me fill out an application online due to my Scottish address. I'm hesitant to go through the paper application route in case SFE says that I need to apply with SAAS. I don't want to just get passed around like a muppet.

If anyone has been in this situation before and has any clarification or advice, I'd really appreciate hearing from you!
Original post by lottiept
Hello,
For the last three years, I've been completing an undergraduate degree via distance learning with the Open University. I started my degree in England, so it was funded through SFE.
A year and a half ago, I moved to Scotland. I continued with my distance learning degree and did not change to a Scottish institution. Funding continued through SFE, since the degree began in England.
I'm starting my postgraduate at a Scottish institution this September. I've been told by SAAS that I do not meet their eligibility criteria, as:
"We do not count any period that you are in Scotland only or mainly for full-time education as ordinary residence. As you are studying a postgraduate course straight after your first course of higher education, you must apply to the same organisation that gave you funding for your first course."
I don't understand why this is - for no period of time so far have I attended a Scottish institution. I have been ordinarily resident in Scotland for over a year as it's clear I didn't move here for the purpose of education - otherwise I would have switched to a Scottish institution partway through my undergraduate, surely? Do I even meet the SFE eligibility criteria any more? It won't let me fill out an application online due to my Scottish address. I'm hesitant to go through the paper application route in case SFE says that I need to apply with SAAS. I don't want to just get passed around like a muppet.
If anyone has been in this situation before and has any clarification or advice, I'd really appreciate hearing from you!

Hi there, just to confirm. Are you permanently living in Scotland and did you previous undergraduate degree with the Open University finish in May 2024? Thanks, Jason
Reply 2
Original post by SFE Jason
Hi there, just to confirm. Are you permanently living in Scotland and did you previous undergraduate degree with the Open University finish in May 2024? Thanks, Jason

Hi Jason. I am permanently living in Scotland, I moved here in January 2023. My undergraduate degree with the Open University finishes this month, May 2024.
Original post by lottiept
Hi Jason. I am permanently living in Scotland, I moved here in January 2023. My undergraduate degree with the Open University finishes this month, May 2024.

Hi there,

If you're permanently living in Scotland then you should be applying to SAAS. I would suggest contacting them directly to query this further.

Thanks,
Claire
Reply 4
Original post by Claire SFE
Hi there,
If you're permanently living in Scotland then you should be applying to SAAS. I would suggest contacting them directly to query this further.
Thanks,
Claire

Hi Claire,

Are you certain that it should be SAAS who provide my funding? I had thought so too, but in the initial email they sent me they stated:

"As you are studying a postgraduate course straight after your first course of higher education, you must apply to the same organisation that gave you funding for your first course. You should therefore apply to Student Finance England for funding."
Original post by lottiept
Hi Claire,
Are you certain that it should be SAAS who provide my funding? I had thought so too, but in the initial email they sent me they stated:
"As you are studying a postgraduate course straight after your first course of higher education, you must apply to the same organisation that gave you funding for your first course. You should therefore apply to Student Finance England for funding."

I would suggest contacting them directly to query this further as normally if you're living permanently in Scotland you would apply to them.

Thanks,
Claire

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