My husband moved here 2 years ago on a student visa for university. The plan was to do a Bachelors degree on the student visa and then apply for residency based on marriage and get a job here.
Today he had his 2nd year exam results and a letter saying that he had achieved over the average grade required for a Masters and the course director would like him to consider transferring to the masters degree. He was not expecting this invitation.
It's a small class and not that many masters places offered so it never occured to us, and he never applied for it, but now he has been invited, it is something that he personally would like to do, even though it is an extra year dent in our plans, as we think it will further his career (the degree is in Engineering of which we were told there were quite a few job placements for experienced and well qualified people).
There is a big snag - Money.
As an international student he has had to pay 100% of the course fees, this will for the 3 years of the bachelors mount to around £30k - this is in tuition fees, I'm not even going to add up the living costs of being in the UK. He is allowed to work 20 hours a week on his student visa, which he has done, but obviously this is pennies compared to the overall outgoing.
We had planned and budgetted for his 3 years of tuition. We have just enough money from both our savings pooled for him to get his bachelors. The 4th year of a masters will be an extra £12,000 - a lot of money, and because of the much bigger workload, he's unlikely to be able to work any extra hours, or possibly even have to drop down his current working hours if he's going to work hard to get a good final result.
Does anyone know if there are any awards, bursaries, loans, anything, available to international students (he's an american citizen). I'm self employed, already have a business loan I'm paying off, and just don't have the credit to get a 12k loan... his parents are retired and have no money to loan him, we rent and have no collateral except for the stock in my retail premises. So really we just need to look at what credit facilities are available to him as an international student.
He has just a few weeks to decide. My business can afford to support us both as a family for living costs for that extra year, but we just can't scrape that 12k for the fees up without a loan. We will be talking to the bank in a few days but just putting feelers out there for anyone who might know where we stand!