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  1. Legal
  2. Admissions
  3. Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ)
About City

Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ)

The Government asked the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to withdraw funding for students studying courses classed as ELQ.

A student is deemed to fall into this category of they are intending to study for an award equivalent to or lower than a qualification that the student already holds. If a student does not meet any of the exceptions mentioned then they may be liable for the full cost of their tuition.

The first qualification must be completed. If an applicant has for example, completed two years of a BSc but did not complete the full degree, and now wish to study a BA in Journalism, they would not be classified as an ELQ student.

This applies to all Home or EU fee paying students who have studied the equivalent of the degree level that they are applying for or studying (eg Bachelor degree), regardless of where the first qualification was completed. Students classified as Overseas for fee purposes do not fall under the ELQ classification.

Each school or department within the institution makes the decision as to whether they wish to make up the shortfall in funding by charging an applicant or student at the higher fee. A school or department may choose to waive the shortfall in funding and continue to charge an applicant or student the Home or EU fee. It is advisable to check either with the school or department, or with the Admissions Office as to whether the relevant school or department charge a higher fee for ELQ students.

There are some exceptions to this funding. Under government initiatives, some courses are exempt from the ELQ funding change, and students on these courses would not have to pay the higher fee. These courses are in:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Radiography
  • Speech and Language Therapy (NB: Human Communication does fall under ELQ).

Foundation Degrees are exempt from ELQ.

Students in receipt of the Disabled Student's Allowance (DSA) are also exempt from paying the ELQ fee.

If you are not sure whether you would fall into the ELQ category, please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice.