Students from the European Union (EU) are rushing to get into British universities before Brexit, new figures suggest.
A total of 27,480 EU students will be starting undergraduate courses at UK universities this autumn, an 11 per cent increase in the space of just one year. The number of overseas students from elsewhere, meanwhile, has remained roughly the same as last year.
The number of EU students placed on British courses could also rise even further in the coming days as more applicants go through the “clearing” process.
Students from the EU currently pay the same as British students – £9,000 a year – while those from the rest of the world pay upwards of £12,000 a year. These higher fees will likely apply to all international students once Britain has left the EU.
By comparison, the figures from the University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) also show that the number of students from outside the EU has only risen by one per cent in the space of a year.
Although non-EU students still outnumber their European Union counterparts, they only do so by around 2,500.
Breitbart London reported in May how over 12,000 EU students have “disappeared” in the UK after studying at British universities, leaving £89 million of debt unpaid.
Since 2006 EU students, like their British counterparts, have been able to take out student loans while studying at UK universities. However, the number of EU students failing the pay back those loans has rocketed over the past few years.
Six years ago around 5,000 EU student were “missing”, owing a total of around £25 million. That figure rose to 12,314 last year, with £89 million of debts unpaid.
Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: “Student loans are incredibly hard to get back from people who have left the UK. The problem is getting worse because the removal of student number controls provides a new incentive to recruit students from other EU countries.
“They are now among the fastest growing groups of students. Previously EU students displaced UK students; now they bring £9,000 of their own, which is underwritten by UK taxpayers.”