Student loans are given to students are who starting undergraduate or postgraduate study at University. It is designed to help student afford tuition and living costs since leaving public education. The loan is also intended to pay for books and living expenses, as many students will live away whilst studying their chosen subject. Since the vote for a Brexit from the EU was announced last month, the Guardian has received thousands of questions from worried students and parents asking about the fees and whether anything will change once we eventually leave the EU.
Many are worried that it will affect their chances of finding a decent job with their degree. Others are concerned about fees when studying abroad, and if they will be asked to leave their country of study. Many experts have suggested that the economy will decline once we decide to officially leave the European Union. Some have even stated that there may even be a recession. These are speculative statements, however, it is certain that since the vote to leave was called, that the economy has already slipped into a downward spiral, despite stabilizing.
Up until we officially leave the European Union, which could be in two years from now, fees will remain the same for UK and EU universities for UK students. Once we have left, however, these fees are subject to change, depending on individual countries and universities. Maastricht University has stated recently that fees may rise from £1600 to upwards of £7000 in the coming years. They have also stated that they will be monitoring a number of British pupils who come to study with them, as their numbers have quadrupled in the past five years.
Fees are also likely to change in Germany once Brexit has been completed, as a study in Universities in the country have been free for all students who study there – domestic and international.
Theresa May has also addressed the questions raised by international students already studying in the UK. They are still to receive their student loans until the end of their course. However, loans and bursaries may change for international students down the line. NUS has advised that students worried about changes to their circumstances should contact their universities directly. Erasmus has also stated this and has reassured any worried student, stating that there are to be no immediate changes.
It’s also unsure whether UK Universities will receive any more funding for research initiatives. Russel Group Universities received half a billion in the last year alone, so it’s completely unsure whether any more funding will reach them once we officially leave the EU.
Many universities in England want to assure any EU nationals who are worried about continuing their course that nothing will change.
This all comes after a call by the new Tory government to backtrack on original plans to pay back student loans. Students and parents are being urged to write to their local MP’s about the issue, which means that student from 2012 and 2013 will have to pay back more money than they originally loaned from student finance. For now the threshold in which you need to pass to start paying back your student loan is frozen at £21 000. If students reach a job with that salary, they will have to pay, on average, £6000 more than they originally paid. If they’re on a salary of £30k or more, they only have to pay £400 more of what they owed.
One thing is for certain, the future is uncertain for all aspects of British culture once we officially leave the EU. However, there are things you can do if you have questions about future study. Universities will try and answer your questions as truthfully as they can. You can also ring student finance with any queries you may have.