The rise in the number of Bulgarian and Romanian students in the UK colleges has reportedly led to suspension of loans to students from the two countries.
The Student Loans Company sent an email to institutions saying: “We are writing to advise you that Student Finance England (SFE) have taken the decision, in consultation with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), to suspend all elements of funding to EU students at alternative providers and all A2 nationals (e.g. students from Bulgaria and Romania) at a public institution for 13-14 payments.”
Times Higher Education said the move has prompted some in the private sector to question whether it could be judged as discriminatory to affected students under EU law.
A BIS spokesman confirmed the freeze of student loans to Romanians and Bulgarians. “All EU students at alternative providers have had payment suspended until they provide the additional information outlined in the letter. All Romanian and Bulgarian at all institutions (APs and universities) have had payments suspended until they provide the additional information,” Times Higher Education quoted a BIS spokesman to have said.
The spokesman added that students would receive funding “as long as they supply that additional information.”