At least one English university is willing to help male Cypriot students serving in the army this year, who will lose their home fee status at British universities because of a fee hike from 2021.
Birkbeck University of London which is currently enrolling students from all 27 EU member states, including eight from the Republic of Cyprus, has announced it is extending a number of scholarships for prospective students from Cyprus, “so that they may benefit from a fee level equitable to that of a home-status student.”
“We recently read of the dilemma faced by many Cypriot students who are currently enlisted in the National Guard and therefore unable to take advantage of the 31 December 2020 deadline for enrolling for the 2020/21 academic year with entitlements to student loans and home fee status,” the university announcement said.
“We fully appreciate the timing for many of those students and their parents, as they carry out their army service duties, is not ideal and in direct response to those circumstances, we wish to extend a number of scholarships for our prospective students from Cyprus.”
Birkbeck is currently formalising this scheme, with immediate attention on Cyprus given the situation, Katrinah Best, communication manager at Birkbeck explained.
“This current period is one of our busiest for applications and enrolments and we encourage parents and students from Cyrus to continue sending in their applications to Birkbeck for the 2021/22 year, with the reassurance that the scholarships will reduce the cost of their education in line with what they would have paid if they’d applied this year,” she said.
The British government recently announced that from September 2021 all EU students will lose their ‘home’ fee status which means they will no longer pay £9,250 a year, regardless of the course they study. British government-backed loans from Student Finance England will also no longer be available. Depending on university and the course, annual fees could be at least double.
After consultation with the British government it was decided that each student should approach their university individually while the universities have been encouraged to be flexible by the British government.