Recently, a panel of commentators came to the UK-focused board at the Pie Live. All of them agreed. They said that the UK government should focus on the effect of Brexit on EU student numbers.
Tough Time Awaits for EU Students in 2021
The HEPI director Nick Hillman commented that no one is giving attention to Brexit. People are not discussing Brexit as much as people are talking about Covid-19 nowadays. It is unfortunate.
He further commented that the best economic models predict that the number of EU students in the country will drop by fifty per cent in the next year. And there are valid reasons behind that.
International students help to boost the UK economy every year. Almost one-third of international students in the UK comprises EU students. Until now, the EU students have enjoyed a special privilege. They used to enjoy all the benefits that domestic students used to get. They were eligible for the UK loan system. Plus, they could access the same fee as that of the domestic students. But not anymore.
From June 2021, the rules are going to be changed. The EU will not be eligible for government loans from June 2021. They will be treated like other international students. They will have to pay fees just like the other international students.
If the government does not change the rule, it will create an added financial pressure on international students. They will not be able to qualify for low-interest government loans. As such, they will have to resort to private loans at a high-interest rate.
Now the question is, will EU students be interested in studying in UK Universities after they lose their special privileges? Experts think that half of the EU students will not be interested in.
Time to Take Steps for Economic Recovery
Experts feel that there is still a way to recover the situation over time if the UK government is ready. The UK government has to work for it from now onwards.
Experts are coming up with fresh proposals to revive the UK economy that has got a significant blow from the Covid-19. They feel that it is essential to entice UK students anyhow to generate revenue for the country. One of the fresh proposals is to offer EU scholarship programs to the students. There are existing scholarship programs for students from Malaysia, China, Thailand, India, and Pakistan. If they can enjoy special scholarship programs, the government can allow similar programs for the EU students.
It is necessary to have scholarship offers in Europe. The economy is in bad shape. If the EU students stop coming to the country, then the situation will be worse. There will be no one to salvage the situation.
A scholarship program is the need of the hour. If it is too expensive to sponsor the scholarship program alone, the UK sector can always cooperate with the government. That option is still open.
The government needs to promote the UK with smart marketing strategies. They have to devise a game plan to strive ahead with the Study UK campaign. The campaign run by the British Council is a significant step to entice EU and other international students towards the UK Universities.
However, experts feel that the campaign needs a lot of boost from every sector. It requires massive funds to run in Europe, where it is not available at present.
More Plan to Lure the EU Students
Many international students are compelled to take out loans to cover their higher education costs in the UK. Experts feel that there must be innovative finance instruments to help international students cover higher studies’ costs.
Experts are looking for ways to lure international students, especially the EU students. Some experts are thinking about the ways to make education loans attractive at the national level. They feel that the government should come ahead regarding this issue. The core matter is to make the loan terms and conditions attractive.
Some experts are quite hopeful about international students. They feel that the UK has the edge over the other countries, mainly due to the international arena’s burning political issues.
The upcoming Presidential election is keeping the government busy. Plus, the US government is on the verge of making some firm decisions concerning international students and the visa. As such, the UK will be a favorite hot destination for higher studies among the students.
Yes. There were restrictions, uncertainty, and shut down in the UK for a long time due to the Covid-19. But now the situation is gradually changing.
If the UK government is ready to develop innovative financial models, then the international students will have the aspiration to study in the UK. It is the dream of many international students to study at a UK University. The UK government should take advantage of it. Also, it is quite motivating to see international students applying to the top UK Universities for enrollment.
Many international students have opted for remote learning, precisely due to visa processing issues, social distancing, public safety, and Covid-19. However, experts are scared that numbers of remote learners will drop soon if the government does not take any action soon.
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The UK government has to think about a lot of things. For example, they need to think about the point-based immigration system, too, as thousands of EU students will be affected due to this reason from January 2021. UK universities have appealed to the government to make a rational decision to keep the future of millions of students in mind. But the government has not yet changed its original conclusion.
If the UK government does not modify the upcoming policies, the EU will not be interested in studying in UK Universities. A massive injection of money and a change in the forthcoming policy is required. Otherwise, it will be tough to bring back the derailed economy to the right track again.