Individual universities in the UK are introducing scholarships for students from European Union countries with the aim of maintaining enrollment from the continent following the loss of tuition fees during the pandemic.
Some institutions have introduced “transition” programs for EU-based students starting their studies in the 2021/22 academic year, which means they will have to pay the same amount of money as local students or be eligible for scholarships and financial discounts. Others have expanded the international student eligibility process to include students from EU countries.
About 7.5% of students at the University of Southampton were from within the EU in 2019/20, holding 1,240 graduate students and 460 graduates from the region. It is the only tertiary education institution to announce an EU bursary, offering a $5,000 discount for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
According to HESA figures for the 2019/20 academic year, 53 higher education providers in the UK enroll more than 1,000 students from EU countries. Growth in international enrollment has been from non-EU countries in 2019/20. University College London, King’s College London, and Coventry University have the highest number of EU students, enrolling 4,880, 4,400, and 3,820 EU students in 2019/20, respectively.
It makes sense for universities to provide aid to students and encourage an environment of learning amidst these trying times. “Cost seems to be a major factor among EU students when it comes to studying abroad – and when it comes to the problems of change from 2021 onwards,” said a British Council spokesman. “According to our research and observation, there is a lot of interest in these studies.” The British Council added that Study UK Europe: The gateway to the UK online fair in October-November 2020 saw “huge interest” in money-related webinars.
Its research on students’ attitudes in France, Germany, Greece, Poland, and Spain regarding the UK study option – conducted in early 2020 – found that tuition fees and living expenses were a major concern when it came to overseas.
It is found that the quality of education in the UK “is considered the best in the world by EU member states”, with a 96% pass rate on its courses and a quality of teaching and an 82% employment prospects. With such exemplary statistics to show for performance, financially-hit EU students can now consider these universities. Scholarships and reconsideration of the fee structures will certainly help in imparting knowledge to a larger base.