How Do I Change Universities?

Plenty of students believe that once they’ve decided to go to university that’s it, it’s all over and that there is no room to change. How wrong they are. Your university choice might be for you at the time that you make it. Many students decide to change universities for different reasons, maybe the course wasn’t what you thought it would be, maybe you’re not happy with the university’s resources or maybe you just want a change of scenery, that’s why you need to remember the important things when choosing the right university for you. 

There are plenty of reasons to move and there are plenty of reasons to consider the change if you want it. We’ve put together a useful guide for you if you’re looking to change universities.

Should I change universities?

This is a tough one. Only you can really know the answer to that and no one else, to be honest. There are plenty of reasons to change but you have to ask yourself some questions before making such a big decision.

  • Am I happy at this university?
  • Are the resources everything that I thought that they would be?
  • Am I happy in the city?
  • Am I suffering from homesickness?

These are important questions to ask, especially the question regarding homesickness. University can be some of the best days of your life, but it can also be a breeding ground for a number of mental health issues. Homesickness at university is one such issue that you will need to deal with.

If you’ve never been away for your family, then you need to think of the ways to potentially deal with this, and we would say that leaving university due to homesickness would not be a smart move. There are plenty of ways to deal with homesickness and anxiety at university and plenty of ways to stay in touch with friends and family when at university, too.

How do I change universities?

Well, first of all, we recommend that you take your time. This is a decision that you do not want to be rushing and something that you will want to think about. The first thing to do is to speak to your course tutor, make them aware of the situation and what you’re thinking of doing. After that, you’ll want to email the admissions tutor for your course.

While many online resources may tell you to email the general enquiries email first, we recommend that you don’t do that. The email receives hundreds of emails-a-day, and you won’t want to have your email lost in the middle of all the others, now, would you?

In your email, you’ll want to explain what it is that you’re currently studying at university and what your issues are and what your overall plan is. We recommend that you speak to the admissions officer in person, before dropping an email.

After this, you will need to more universities with UCAS. Your UCAS application and your personal statement will need to be added again, you may need to rewrite your personal statement if it is tailored to a certain university, for which, we recommend using a Personal Statement Editor. Don’t worry though, you won’t be alone, in fact, nearly 33% of students end up transferring universities.

Does it cost money to transfer universities?

This is a difficult one. This very much depends on the university itself and the university you’re going to. Assuming that you’re going to be studying the same course at the new university, the fees won’t change much. However, changing courses could be a different thing entirely, you will need to speak to your admissions tutors when you’re at university to see what happens for there.

Will it affect how long it takes me to finish my course if I transfer universities?

This again depends. Let’s look at an example, shall we? Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you are currently studying a three-year Mathematics degree at the University of Portsmouth, but you wish to do the same course (Which is also three years) at the University of Hull; then it should no effect you too much. However, changing from a five-year course to a three-year course will obviously have an effect on your course length, too.

Will this affect any grants, bursaries or scholarships that I currently have?

This has been known to happen, but the likelihood is that it won’t. If you live at home during university and you claim a travel grant, because you live too far away from home for university, but then you move to a university that is closer to your home, then it is quite likely that your travel grant may stop, thought it may be a good idea to check this out with your new university before agreeing to join, if it is something that you definitely rely on. Bursaries, Grants and scholarships are all really dependent on a number of different factors that can affect them, so while you may not be eligible for your usual grant, bursary or scholarship, you may be entitled to another one as you move universities.

Will I be able to claim back any money from my old university if I transfer universities?

Nope. Unfortunately, you will still have to pay for that too, which is why this is a very expensive decision for you to make and one that you need to really think through before you make. Think about this clearly, can you handle another £9,000 hit to your account?

Will changing universities effect my tuition fee repayment length?

No, your repayment period will remain the same as before. Student finance in the UK, student finance in Wales and Student Finance in Northern Ireland all have the same repayment period and all have the same repayment terms, things are slightly different for student finance in Scotland as the payment terms all depend on whereabouts your country of origin.

So there you have it! The big and incredibly scary world of changing universities. It’s a big decision and one that should not be taken lightly. You need to think about what it is that you’re doing, why you’re taking this decision and what the implications of such a decision can have on both your educational career and your personal life, choose wisely and think long and hard before making such a big decision, good luck!