Cypriot students will be paying higher tuition fees at British universities from 2021 and no longer have access to study loans post Brexit.
In comments to CyBC radio, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou confirmed that Cypriot students will no longer be enjoying privileges enjoyed EU nationals as the UK exits the union.
But he said Nicosia was engaged in a diplomatic effort for Cypriot students to be treated as a special case.
A British government decision puts an end to the current system from the academic year 2021-2022 while allowing each university to set their own tuition fees.
Last week, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said: “Following our decision to leave the EU, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in the academic year 2021-22.”
This change will also apply to further education funding for those aged 19+, and funding for apprenticeships.
UK and EU nationals currently pay tuition fees of up to £9,250 (€10,200 or US$11,500) per year for an undergraduate degree.
The fees for international students vary from between £10,000 (€11,000) and £38,000 (€41,900) depending on the university and the degree.
Prodromou explained, “there is an issue with the students who have graduated this year but have enrolled with British universities to start their studies in 2021-2022, as they will first have to fulfil their military obligations”.
He added that for the existing students and those going to the UK this year will not be affected by the new regime.
Prodromou pointed out that consultations are taking place with UK officials and the Ministry’s goal is to reach a bilateral exclusion agreement for students obligated to carry out their military service before going to study.
The Education Minister said that such an agreement would be possible in the context of the long-standing and historical relations that Cyprus has with the United Kingdom.
He said Cyprus could receive special status as a Commonwealth country.
Prodromou clarified that the Republic will not be suspending enrollment of the conscripts affected.