Fee and loan rates for EU students guaranteed after Brexit

However, no decision has been made yet about the long-term status of EU students.

EU-UK, illustrative stock photo.EU-UK, illustrative stock photo. (Source: AP/TASR)

European students applying to universities in England after the United Kingdom’s formal exit from the EU will be eligible for student loans and tuition fees at the same rate as domestic students, The Guardian reported on July 2.

Undergraduates from EU countries, including Slovakia, attending English universities from September 2019 will incur the same annual tuition fees as their English peers and have access to the same government-backed student loans for the duration of their degree course, said British Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

“Students from the EU make an important contribution to the university sector and it is a testament to our system that so many students from abroad choose to come and study here,” Hinds said, as quoted by The Guardian. “Today, we are providing clarity and certainty on their fees for the duration of their courses.”

No guarantee for the far future

The UK government’s decision to extend the current arrangements on loans and tuition fees to the 2019-20 academic year means that EU students will continue to enroll on the same basis as British students despite the formal March 2019 Brexit date having passed.

No decision has been made yet about the long-term status of EU students, with fears raised by a leaked Home Office report last year that suggested EU nationals wanting to study in the UK would require the same stringent checks on academic ability, English language skills and funding as international students, according to The Guardian.

EU students account for more than 80,000 of the 1.6 million first-time undergraduates at UK universities, including 65,000 studying in England, and nearly 50,000 postgraduates. Hinds’ announcement will be felt most keenly at universities with high numbers of EU undergraduates and fewer non-EU international students, The Guardian reported.

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