Brexit: EU Students’ Tuition Fees - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:26 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Lilley Lord Lilley Conservative 5:26 pm, 29th April 2019

My Lords, I am sure that my noble friend will agree that it is a wonderful thing—educationally, socially and culturally—that 135,000 students from Europe are at our universities, along with a further 8,000 students from the rest of the world. But is it not different economically, in that students from the rest of the world pay full tuition fees and subsidise British students, whereas students from Europe receive tuition grants, only a small proportion of which are ever repaid, and that they are therefore subsidised by the British taxpayer? Can he explain what possible reasons, once we have left the EU, there should be for us charging people from poor countries to come to our universities but offering loans that are likely never to be repaid if they come from rich countries in Europe?