THOUGH the future of Cypriot students currently studying in the UK is not yet clear, the University of Cyprus is ready to deal with any outcome.
The university said it is prepared to consider a transfer of Cypriot students currently in the UK who may be adversely affected by the impending exit of the country from the European Union.
Where Cypriot students are affected to an extent that they cannot continue their studies due to an economic change, it will be possible to submit a transfer request in order to continue their studies in Cyprus, Rector Constantinos Christofides said in a statement.
Within the coming days, announcements about the process of transfer will follow.
It is not yet clear if students from the EU will have to pay international instead of local university fees in the UK which would substantially increase their financial burden. At the moment, undergraduate fees for EU students range from around £7,000 to £9,000 and international fees from £10,000 to £15,000 per year.
In addition, the UK could lose the benefits of being part of the EU Erasmus student exchange programme which encourages and supports EU students to study and work in other EU countries.
However, it might be some time before changes come into effect.
“Parents and students should not be concerned,” educational consultant Chrysanthos Savvides said. According to Savvides, the issue is covered under the Lisbon agreement and any change will take place after two years.
Students already studying, but also prospective students of the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years are normally entitled to a student loan, the statement added.
Also not affected for the next two years are students in Erasmus programmes and those involved in various research projects, Savvides concluded.
The British Council in Nicosia did not confirm this, however, saying the situation is not clear yet and discussions will take place.
Comments from the UK also suggest that the change will not happen overnight.
“The UK has not yet left the EU, so it is important that our staff and students from other member countries understand that there will be no immediate impact on their status at our universities,” Wendy Piatt, director-general of the 24 universities which make up the Russell Group was quoted as saying in the Times Higher Education Supplement on Friday.
Academics in the UK had run an extensive campaign for the country to remain in the EU, based, among other factors, on the extensive research funding they are receiving. Before the referendum, nine out of ten university staff backed the remain campaign.