The number of Hungarians traveling to the UK for study reasons has decreased significantly since Brexit, according to local Hungarian media reports.
Since the UK left the European Union on January 1, 2021, citizens of the 27-nation bloc have to follow stricter residency rules, affecting about 160,000 Hungarian citizens, especially students, TheSchengen.com reports.
Tuition fees for British universities have risen from £9,250 (€11,095) to around £25,000 to £40,000 (€29,990-€47,985), which is an increase of almost 170 per cent. In addition, student loans have been reduced and there is no need for individual health insurance or a visa, adding another 348 euros for a visa.
Besides, Hungarian students have to pay an additional immigration health fee of €564 more compared to the time before Brexit. Previously, a student loan could cover tuition fees that were no longer available to European citizens. On top of the already mentioned exorbitant expenses, there is also the cost of living on British soil.
“There has been a significant decrease in the number of students studying in the UK. While in the year 2020-2021, about 705 students were accepted out of about 1,100 applicants, in the academic year 2021-2022, only 450 students applied and out of them 190 students were accepted, But in the end only 60 started their studies,” Soma Peretti, co-director of the Hungarian Youth Association, told Napi.hu.
In the event that they were unable to study in the UK, Hungarian students returned to Dutch universities where the latter proved responsive to the situation with foreign language courses. Austrian, French and German universities are also on the front line.
In response to this problem, the Hungarian Youth Association and the Federation of Polish Associations in the UK launched a petition called SaveEUStudents. The campaign calls for the creation of a comprehensive EU-UK student mobility scheme to handle tuition fees and living expenses for EU students, contribute to visa and travel expenses, and provide immigration health assistance. If implemented, this project could help more than 170,000 European students.
However, except for being quick, Dutch universities are not available as Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) recently urged the government to get as many people accepted into the country’s higher education institutions as possible. According to UNL, the quality of education is at stake, and the workload is difficult to manage.
The alliance agreement includes significant investments in education and academic research. Now we have to use these to reduce the workload and arrange the essentials. Additionally, we are asking politicians to quickly introduce additional options in which universities can control international student numbers in a targeted manner. Student numbers at universities are expected to continue to rise in the coming years,” said UNL President, Peter Duisenberg.
According to Erudera.com, the number of foreign students in the Netherlands increased by 10% in September of 2021, provided more students showed an interest in studying abroad during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Commenting on the matter, the President of UNL noted that there is a worldwide demand from students for good quality educational options at low costs.