Cyprus students write-off UK universities

2 mins read

Nine out of 10 Cypriots will reconsider studying in Britain following a UK government decision for EU students to lose their “home” fee status from 2021-22, as well as missing out on student loans.

According to a survey carried out by Hamburg-based Study.eu choice platform connecting some 2 million students with European universities, said the decision is a big turn off for Cypriot students.

Study.eu’s PR Manager Jacob Mikael Jensen told the Financial Mirror their survey indicated that a 50% increase in fees would mean that 76.4% would definitely not study in the UK.

“At a 100% fee increase, 93.3% of students asked said that they would not be even considering the UK for studying.”

Jensen said the UK government announced that, following Brexit, this would effectively mean an average fee increase of around 99%.

Current International tuition fees for most university courses are set between 75 and 125% higher than Home/EU fees.

Study.eu notes that the trend recorded with Cypriot students, who represent 6% of the participants, is the same across the bloc, with 84% of students saying that they will probably not be looking at UK universities for their studies.

“If fees for EU students rise to those charged for international students, 84% of those surveyed say they will ‘definitely not’ study in the UK,” said Jensen.

He argued this could mean a loss of 120,000 students based on recent enrolments, or 25% of all non-UK students.

He added that following the developments, Netherlands, Germany, France are the most popular alternatives for students if they can no longer afford UK tuition fees.

“This is a lose-lose situation for everyone. It is unfortunate that the political process leads to such negative consequences for students and universities.

We hope that some other solution can be found that would promote student mobility between the UK and the EU,” said Gerrit Bruno Blöss, the CEO of Study.eu.

He added that British universities would have to consider potential domino effects.

“Less diverse campuses might overall be less appealing to international students, regardless of fees charged.”

The proportion of international students is also a factor in popular university rankings such as those published by The Times Higher Education or QS.

Asked on how Study.eu expects to react, taking into consideration that Universities in the UK largely rely on tuition fees charged to foreign students, Bloss noted that the potential loss of earnings from EU students will follow an already critical situation, with the coronavirus pandemic impeding international recruitment.

“We will see a range of reactions.”

“Most universities have been overhauling their marketing and recruitment campaigns for a while. After all, the announcement did not come unexpectedly. Some may shift focus to more affluent origin countries.

At the same time, some are planning to open satellite campuses in continental Europe, to offer degree programmes in trans-national education settings.

A few institutions are also evaluating potential legal loopholes to charge different fees.”

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.