Information for Students

Advice and Support for Non-UK Nationals

Are you affected by a status of ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’?

Help for international students with No Recourse to Public Funds

The north east of Scotland welcomes students from all over the world and your years spent here should be enjoyable and without hardship.

However, situations can arise which mean students can struggle financially or have problems with housing etc. Your student visa may state ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) and then you may have difficulty accessing the support you need. 

Support from your education provider

In the first place, you should approach your education provider – here are some links to welfare pages for students in Aberdeen and the wider region:

NESCOL has bookable sessions with Student Advice Centres.

Robert Gordon University Support and Advice including the Emergency Loan Fund 

University of Aberdeen Support, including the Hardship Fund


Housing advice for Students

As a student, you have the same rights and responsibilities as any other tenant. Find more information from Shelter Scotland at:

A Guide to Housing for Students – Shelter Scotland

As a full-time student in the UK you do not need to pay Council Tax. The Council website has advice on this.


Health Matters – Finding a doctor (GP)

Although as a student you may have a status of No Recourse to Public Funds, you can access the National Health service (NHS) and use it as soon as you arrive in the UK. Your biometric card is proof you have paid the Healthcare Surcharge. 

Even if at first you are temporarily staying in a hotel, B&B or with friends, any GP Practice should register you if have paid for the NHS Healthcare Surcharge. You can change your address when you move to other accommodation.

The NHS has a factsheet for students coming to Scotland to study.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs has some useful information on health at:

UKCISA – international student advice and guidance – Health and healthcare

Your Mental Health

UKCISA has a useful web page with resources for mental health support in the UK

  – international student advice and guidance – Mental health support in the UK


Working while in the UK as a student

Work rights are a condition of your immigration permission. This means it is very important that you are clear about what you may and may not do. You must always follow any restrictions.

You can find guidance from the UK Council for International Student Affairs.


Here with your family

The UK Government student visa website explains the conditions for having family members join you in the UK, including how much money your dependants will need to support themselves while they are here. It still may be the case that due to unforeseen circumstances you need some extra support.

See our information page for families with children for more help.


Positive Community Relations

The Grampian Regional Equality Council (GREC) work to tackle prejudice and discrimination, celebrate diversity and build positive community relations. If you would like to be more involved in the local community, GREC runs a Thursday Drop-in at the Arts Centre with a Language Cafe, and information and advice about the local area.

If unfortunately you’ve been the victim of a hate crime; discriminated against at work or are just finding it difficult to access the services you need, GREC Caseworkers can help you make sense of your rights and options.

If you are the victim of a crime while in Scotland, you can also get support from Victim Support Scotland.


Other Help

In Aberdeen and the wider region, there are many local organisations such as faith groups and charities which offer help and advice of different sorts. You can contact relevant agencies for support – please look at our links to local resources.

The Ruth Hayman Trust awards small grants to support the education and training of adults who have come to settle in the UK, and whose first language is not English and cannot afford the full fees for their studies.


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