Students

Overview

AFF is contacted by families from around the world, with queries about their children who have left school but who want to carry on studying.

Issues often include things like flights and transport costs, access after admissions deadlines and converting overseas qualifications to the UK equivalent.

This page applies mainly to Service children aged 16+ rather than spouses. If you are a spouse, please visit the Employment and Training section.

Contents

01   Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme

The Bereavement Scholarship Scheme is available to provide University and Further Education Scholarships for the children of Service personnel whose death has been attributed to Service since 1990.

If you have any questions about the scholarships, e.g. what you need to do to apply or how to fill out the application form, contact Veterans UK.

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02   AFF secures change to student funding for Forces families

AFF is delighted that, after much campaigning, Service families should now find it easier to enrol on distance learning courses while posted overseas.

Changes to student funding rules mean that Forces families are not excluded from accessing a student loan if they are not resident in the UK on the first day of their chosen course.

Overcoming an overseas posting

The new rule will grant eligibility for student funding for a UK based distance-learning course even if you are posted overseas while the course is still ongoing.

Spouse training is a topic that AFF has placed a great deal of importance on for some time now, given that spouses are unable to work in some overseas locations.

Removing unfair disadvantage

AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade said: “AFF is delighted with the Government’s decision to change student funding rules in order to provide Armed Forces families who are posted abroad with the same opportunities as those living in the UK, when accessing Student Finance England loans. 

AFF is committed to ensuring our families are not disadvantaged due to the nature of their Service and this decision is an excellent conclusion to months of joint working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). These changes open up a raft of opportunities for the families of serving personnel who previously might have had to forgo training whilst posted abroad; we look forward to seeing the benefits over the months and years to come.

Find out more

For more information about this announcement, click here.

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03   Great news for families overseas with children at university

School Children’s Visits (SCV) flights for children in tertiary education are three return journeys per academic year.

This means that students undertaking their first degree can return home to their families during each main holiday period – Christmas, Easter and Summer.

AFF highlighted in several reports that one return journey per year placed an unaffordable burden on parents, particularly as university accommodation is often only available during term times and we are delighted that this issue has been resolved.

Further information can be found in JSP 752 on the Gov.uk website, the Defence Intranet or from unit admin staff.

To speak to AFF about SCV flights, please contact the Education and Childcare Specialist at ec@aff.org.uk

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04   Funding for Scottish university?

Scotland currently offers funding for university education for Scottish students who are ordinarily resident in Scotland. To meet the residence conditions, you must have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for the preceding three years and be ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date i.e. the start date of the course. This is usually 1 August.

Service Family Accommodation does not count as an ordinary residence and this causes an issue for mobile Army Scots who live all over the world and also in Scotland. AFF has produced a brief on the issues and our view. To find out more, click here.

Following on from this, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland has created a fact sheet for Armed Forces families which explains the ordinary residence criteria and eligibility. To read more on this, click here and follow the PDF link for the Armed Forces.

This is a great start but we will still continue to push for a change that addresses the issues of spouse nationality and multi-generational Service families.

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05   Where to go for student funding

Find out more about funding, and how to apply, on the following websites:

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06   Converting overseas qualifications

UK NARIC is the national agency that is responsible for providing information and expert advice on overseas qualifications. Service children may have these qualifications if they have studied for exams at international schools overseas where there is no MOD Schools available.

If this applies to you, first contact CEAS for advice.

If you think you will need a conversion certificate for your university application, visit www.naric.org.uk/naric. Please note, there will be a charge for this service.

If you have found yourself in this situation, please email ec@aff.org.uk as AFF would like to monitor this.

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07   UCAS guidance for your Service child

Is your Service child off to university? The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance  has developed guides with UCAS to offer support for both your child and their school or college. Take a look at www.scipalliance.org/resources/ucas-guidance-for-service-children-and-schools-colleges

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What our families say about AFF

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