Many Romanian and Bulgarian students studying in the UK have experienced loan freezes and are therefore unsure if they will be able to complete their degree programmes.
The students affected did not know there was anything wrong until they didn’t receive their maintenance loan at the beginning of this term..
This comes as Student Finance England has told the students that they are no longer eligible for Student Finance as they have withdrawn early from their course. Some have even been told that they must start repaying their loans immediately.
Some Universities have been sympathetic to the situation, such as the University of Bournemouth and have delayed payment deadlines. Others have declined comment.
Mr David Willetts, the Conservative MP and Universities and Science Minister, froze the funding after revealing that there was a £1.4 billion shortfall in its budget which had been caused by a huge amount of students entering higher education under the new system this year, as well as a failure to control student numbers at private providers.
Many feel that Romanian and Bulgarian students are being unfairly targeted by the Government, as this is the second occurrence of problems with students from these specific countries. Last year a number of loans were frozen due to the ‘suspicious’ amount of Bulgarian and Romanian students studying in the UK.
Daniel Stevens, NUS international students officer has said: “The lack of communication from the Government to affected students is unacceptable. This situation is disrupting people’s lives and has inevitably led to much confusion. The Government needs to take this situation seriously.
Article: Corinna Taylor
Photograph: http://www.guildford.ac.uk (featured); blogs.susu.org (main)