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Frequently asked questions for institutions

These FAQS aim to help staff within institutions that delivered the National Scholarship Programme for entrants in 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15. Although the NSP has now officially ended, some institutions may continue to award existing NSP recipients in subsequent years of study in 2015-16 and beyond.

Detailed guidance for each year of the programme is available in the guidance documents available at the bottom of this page. These FAQs are designed to help with specific queries which we have found need clarification.

If you have a query which is not covered by the guidance documents or these FAQs, please contact nsp@hefce.ac.uk.

Awarding funding

How can the NSP funding be spent?

For students from England (both full-time and part-time), the award can comprise one or a combination of the following: tuition-fee discount or waiver, cash bursary, discounts on accommodation or other services (which universities and colleges provide). For EU students only a tuition-fee discount or waiver is permissible but they are entitled to the full value of the award (£3,000 for 2012-13 and 2013-14 entrants and £2,000 for 2014-15 entrants).

Can we give students £1,000 cash in each year of study as part of their award?

For 2012-13 and 2013-14 entrants there is a limit of £1,000 as a cash bursary for the total award. This rule applies to both the government allocation and institutional matched funding. It covers all years of study, if the institution is paying any part of the award in later years. It is therefore not possible to pay 2012-13 or 2013-14 entrants £1,000 cash in each year of study.

For entrants starting in 2014-15, there is no limit on the amount of cash that can be paid as part of an NSP award. 

Can awards be used to meet the cost of private accommodation?

This is possible, as long as the institution receives assurance that the funding is going to meet the costs of private accommodation. We are aware that many institutions have contractual arrangements with private providers for accommodation and may wish to make arrangements to receive this assurance. Institutions will need to ensure that students do not receive extra cash payments above the £1,000 limit for 2012-13 and 2013-14 entrants.

What happens if we make an award to someone who leaves or does not complete their course?

Institutions should not recover funding already awarded to the student. If payments are made in stages, the institution should not award the student further NSP funding after the date they leave. 

What if a student takes a leave of absence?

Again, institutions should not recover from the student any funding they have already delivered. If the student has not yet received the full amount of their award, they should normally receive the rest of the funding when they return to their course.

The future of the NSP

What will happen to the programme from 2015-16?

The NSP has now ended. NSP awards will not be available for students starting higher education (HE) in 2015-16 and beyond. This will not affect recipients who have received the NSP in 2012-13, 2013-14 or 2014-15.

What if we have planned to pay part of the award to students in 2015-16 or later?

We know that some institutions have chosen to use their matched funding to spread awards over later years. This means that they will be paying part of the awards to students in 2015-16 and later which is fine. Institutions will be expected to honour their commitments to students regarding this.

Page last updated 16 May 2017