Funding Overseas Education: Six Sources to Get the Money Together

Funding an education in UK, is not the easy thing it used to be. Gone are the days when overseas education and home education were subsidised by the state. So the student has to consider alternative funding sources for his or her trip abroad.

1: Student Loan

While the fees structure for going to university has changed, the source for money hasn’t. The student loan was always available to students prior to the education fees change. It still is, only now the amount of money lent is considerably bigger, designed (where the student is eligible) to cover all the fees associated with going on into higher education.

Studying abroad can be part of a UK based course – for example American Studies, which gives a gap year to the student in question, studying in a college in the USA. IN cases like this, the course fees paid through a student loan should cover overseas learning as well.

2: The British Council

The British Council awards a number of scholarships and support bursaries to students wishing to study abroad. To apply for funding, it is necessary to contact the British Council direct. They’ll be able to tell you whether there are any bursaries available for the overseas study you wish to undertake, and what criteria you need to satisfy in order for it to be awarded.

3: Mum and Dad

The Bank of Mum and Dad is still one of the most popular ways for students to fund their education, particularly since state assistance for higher educational fees was withdrawn. Where there is money available, it can be easier and safer to borrow from Mum and Dad – who either lend you the money or give it to you. If you borrow the money, you can arrange a repayment plan that doesn’t carry the burden of interest – normally, of course, associated with the prospect of borrowing from a bank.

4: Independent Bursaries

There are a range of independent bursaries available, some provided by charitable organisations with a remit to assist students in getting the money they need. In normal circumstances educational charities are set up to help students unable to find finance through the means already discussed. Look at the Educational Grants Advisory Service for up to date information on current bursaries.

5: University Awards

Some universities and colleges have their own funding awards schemes, normally in the form of bequests left them by wealthy former students or teachers. These bequests may be given out to students in need of funding assistance, provided the students in question are able to answer the criteria as set out in the award’s description. Again, funding of this nature is most usually applied to students unable to find money by other means – and will be fiercely contested, so be prepared to apply not only for this type of funding but for others as well.

6: The Government

While the Government has famously withdrawn financial support from the majority of British students, it does still provide money for education in some special cases. Every year, Government funding initiatives change; and every year the extant and new ones release details of their funding packages for the next 12 months. It is, then, necessary for students looking for this extra funding to keep their eyes on the ball, and to find out what might be available for application when they are ready to think about an overseas education.


This is true of colleges and schools at every level of the educational system. From Lansdowne independent sixth form college to a local public school, pupils looking to spread their wings and take the next step have to learn how to fund their higher education.


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