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Tuition Fees: EU Students

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 3:42 pm, 29th April 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments. Further to a previous intervention of his, I am looking forward to coming up to Huddersfield on 10 May. That demonstrates that I do take action when he asks about my commitment to universities. I am looking forward to meeting the vice-chancellor and other university representatives there, and I am sure that they will discuss these issues with me.

When it comes to opportunities for UK students, it is worth noting that, yes, 16,000 UK students benefit from a European education—that is obviously part of the current system through the EU structures—but that contrasts with a total of 34,000 UK students who are educated internationally, in both EU and non-EU countries. We want to be able to grow that number as well. There is, however, a disproportionate impact on the number of UK students studying in the EU compared with the number of EU students studying in the UK. We would obviously wish to rebalance that and ensure that UK students have the opportunity to study abroad, both in the EU and outside it.