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Potentially studying in the UK, do you know the welfare system?

  • 20-01-2014 6:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    I'm thinking of studying Midwifery in the UK as it's simply too expensive here. I've wanted to do this for a long time but I am a young single mum on welfare and I don't know anything about their system.

    Please no one make comments about me being a burden to the system or anything, I work my ass off to try to get off the welfare system but with creche, bills, rents, etc ot just doesnt work.

    I am currently working part time but if I go back to college I wont have time to work between course work and work experience, therefore the only option I have is welfare.

    Some people have said there is only the dole and nothing like lone parents or rent allowance which I am on now. My mum thinks that if you study abroad there's something that entitled you to the same amount of money you receive in your home country..

    Any info would be greatly appreciated


  • Registered Users Posts: 173 ✭✭Nymeria

    Hi MamaBee,

    To be honest I'm not sure if we qualify for anything in the UK social system, but if you qualify for Back to Education Allowance you can get it if you are doing a course in the UK.

    I am currently studying in Edinburgh and receiving Back To Education Allowance, which is €188 per week. It doesn't go very far in the UK when you change it to sterling but I get by (just about). Have you thought about studying in Scotland, they have free fees for EU students, provided you haven't completed a degree before.

    You should really talk to your local SW office, tell them you want to study in the UK and ask if you could still qualify for the lone parents etc.

    Good luck.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭Bepolite

    The UK is way more expensive than people think. Council Tax etc will be a major issue. (A local authority tax which you pay on top of any income tax etc.). UK universities charge very high fees, I'm not sure how it works with the whole EU thing but look into this. Fees for England for an English person can be £7K IIRC.

    Ireland is a much better place to try and get a third level education.

    You could try and get somewhere less expensive in the UK but the comparative place in Ireland will always be cheaper. E.g. Heading to Hereford, just go to Limerick.

  • Registered Users Posts: 173 ✭✭Nymeria

    Hey, sorry just to clarify on the above post - full time students are exempt from council tax, so don't let that put you off.

    Also, as a full time student in Scotland (not sure if its the same in England), you are entitled to free GP care and you get discounted travel, plus most shops do student discounts. Also, many of the Universities have creches, I'm sure they would be at a discounted or cheap rate.

    OP, I know it seems daunting trying to figure everything out, but if its your dream to study nursing then you should try and go for it. I'm sure there are bursaries or grants or something you could avail of...don't give up.

    On a side note I went home for a month at Christmas and was blown away by how expensive Dublin Bus is, here in Edinburgh the full fare is £1.50 to travel anywhere (from the city to the airport), compare that with €3.05 for Dublin Bus. Friends of mine from Greece spent a few days in Dublin a few weeks ago and thought in general it was really expensive city, so I guess its all about perspective.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,737 ✭✭✭Bepolite

    Day to day the UK is cheaper thats a fair assessment. Overall though they pay a higher rate of tax, but to be fair there are services there such as the NHS.

    Quite right on council tax. Scotland is different though in many ways, most notably the fees structure for universities, so be careful of that.

    Edinburgh is a cracking, cracking city. I studied at Napier (not midwifery but they do it). Never had such a ball as the time I lived there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72 ✭✭MamaBee92

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the info. Just with regards to the course fees, there's no college fees for medical courses and I'm hoping to study for midwifery. A lot of friends have gone to do the same and are getting by quite well financially. My concern is that I wont be able to work because I will be looking after my daughter and will only be able to afford the bare minimum childcare. So its not college thats a problem as much as rent, daily living etc which is where the welfare is needed


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  • Registered Users Posts: 731 ✭✭✭Butterface

    You won't qualify for any welfare assistance in Britain. You may be able to get a bursary from the NHS, and that combined with the Back to Education grant from Ireland could get you by..

    I'm on BTEA and studying in the UK. The BTEA at 188euro converts to about £150. My rent is way more expensive over here than any of the smaller cities in Ireland - it's £75 a week. That's because I live in a student town, there are not many cheaper options. I have to put some of that by for bills too, not to mention saving up for flights etc. I'm in my final year and I have rarely gone out this year.. trying my best to live off £40 a year! I also don't find groceries cheaper here, and I eat healthily so that can be more expensive than shopping in Iceland for example.

    The 3 years have often been a financial struggle, though I also worked during the summers and put money by for a rainy day.

    Surely, you would qualify for free fees in Ireland? You would also qualify for 188 BTEA grant. You'd have a support system in place too. I think you would find it very difficult to move to another country with your young daughter, what with the stress of starting Uni and the financial stress too.

    You'd really need to research your options. You cannot get welfare while a full time student in the UK, and as we're not from the UK we don't qualify for their maintenance loans. You may get a bursary for your study but I don't know how much that would amount to per year.