Brexit saves taxpayers over £300m a year in unpaid EU student loans
BREXIT saves taxpayers over £300m a year in unpaid EU student loans.
Ministers have pledged to spend the extra money on training the British now that we have left the bloc.
Tory MPs hailed the news as a major dividend from our decision to make a clean break with Brussels.
£590million in taxpayer-funded loans were given to students in EU states in 2020-21.
But the government admits that more than half of this amount will almost certainly never be repaid.
The startling revelation is contained in a Whitehall article outlining the benefits of Brexit.
Former minister David Jones said: “This is a particularly welcome benefit of Brexit.
“British taxpayers were paying for the education of thousands of overseas students who clearly had no intention of repaying the loans.
“Leaving the EU now allows us to pay for the education and training of thousands of UK students, proving how wise we were to vote to leave the EU.”
Brussels rules required us to treat EU students the same as UK students while we were members.
This meant they were eligible for loans and grants on the same terms and paid the same fee of £9,250 a year.
Many never reached the income threshold to start repaying or returned home, making it difficult to pay their bills.
But now that we have left them, they are subject to the same rules as people who come here from the rest of the world.
There were 153,000 EU students at our universities in 2020-21. Their default rate was about the same as the Brits.
A study by the Higher Education Policy Institute found that EU students generate an average net economic gain for the UK of £71,000 each.
That compares to £102,000 for those coming here to study in countries outside the bloc.
Researchers have estimated that all international students are worth around £28.8 billion a year to the UK economy.