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Kamila Šebestová
April 22, 2021, 3:35pm
Reading time: 5:44

My Cambridge Tuition Increased From £9.250 to £31.827 as a Result of Brexit, Said High Schooler Richard

Students and seasonal workers have been hit hard by Brexit this year. Tuition is increasing, work agencies are relocating to other countries.

Kamila Šebestová
April 22, 2021, 3:35pm
Reading time: 5:44
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My Cambridge Tuition Increased From £9.250 to £31.827 as a Result of Brexit, Said High Schooler Richard
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Student parties, Harry Potter-like dorms, high-quality education, Britain is famous for the amazing student life there. That's why hundreds of European students apply to universities in the United Kingdom every year. However, many of them are changing their plans due to Brexit this year. Tuition fees are on the rise and a lot of European students will no longer be able to take a loan from the British government.


Seasonal workers were aiming for the British Islands too. However, agencies are not currently sending seasonal workers to the UK due to stricter regulations for issuing work visas. Great Britain has left the European Union for good, affecting the lives of millions of people.


So what will UK's student life look like in 2021 and what will happen to the British economy after the major outflow of seasonal workers from the EU?


We are British, you are Europeans

In this article you'll read:
  • How Brexit affects the student life in Britain.
  • Why it's difficult to travel to the UK for work now.
  • How much did the tuition fees increase for some students in the UK, and what are their opportunities now.
  • What to consider before applying to study at a British university in 2021.


The price for one academic year in Britain ranges anywhere between 7- and 30,000 pounds per year, so studying is completely unaffordable for the majority of families. Until now, students from the European Union were able to take a university loan from the British government.


That helped them to cover the costs of tuition. Although they created some debt, they had the opportunity to study at a university such as Oxford or Cambridge thanks to the loan. Having the same conditions as British students. However, the situation is changing and EU students can no longer borrow from the British government. In addition, they have to pay much higher tuition fees - same as students from India or America.



"In addition, students have to keep the fee for student visas and health care in mind. As far as the financial assistance from Slovak banks goes, we're not aware of any at the moment. However, students have the opportunity to take out a loan from the Education Support Fund. Last year, they were able to take out a loan of up to 3,500 EUR , which at least helped them partially cover the costs associated with their studies,” explains Dominika Jarkovská from the Interstudy student agency.



"I was accepted to Cambridge University in 2020, but I've postponed the start of my studies to 2021. In the meantime, I got an e-mail from the University saying that Brexit has increased my tuition fees from £ 9,250 to £ 31,827 per year," says high school student Richard Rybár, who was looking forward to attending one of the best universities in Europe.


Such an increase in tuition fees was way too much of a financial burden for Richard. There was no scholarship for people in a similar situation according to him, so he had to focus on other universities.


"Due to Brexit, I've lost the opportunity to study at a world-renowned university. It's a pity that many other talented young Europeans will lose the opportunity to study at leading British universities this way. And many of them will be forced to go to worse universities due to the overcrowding of European universities as a consequence, "  adds Richard.


According to Interstudy, up to 74 percent fewer Slovaks are applying for the United Kingdom than last year. Hundreds of people will choose the Netherlands or Denmark instead of the UK this year.


The Czechoslovak Unimak Students' Association, which came to existence in order to help students prepare for entry exams in the UK, also has a much smaller number of applications as a result.


"The United Kingdom has always been the most popular destination for students who contacted Unimak. Today, the decrease in students interested this country is up to 80 percent. We also notice an increase in applications to the Netherlands, where the interest of students has increased by about 40 percent, " Kristína Pauliaková, Unimak President, describes the situation .




Scottish universities are also changing the conditions for EU citizens. These were especially popular due to low or even zero tuition fees. "Even there, the tuition fees for EU citizens will be as high as for the students from overseas," adds Kristína.


Ambassador Nigel Baker of the British Embassy in Bratislava claims that the cost of studying in Britain can be manageable if the candidate is really determined.


"Every university has a certain flexibility and offers scholarships for the right candidate. I recommend potential students from Slovakia to directly contact the institution in which they want to study, " says the diplomat. He adds that Britain, after withdrawing from the Erasmus + program, is now developing the Turing program.


"This program represents an opportunity for Slovak schools to launch a reciprocal partnership with British universities. Which would lead to lower fees, ” explains Nigel Baker.


However, it's not just about fees, but also the administration. European university students that are currently studying in Britain should register in the EU Settlement Scheme from January, which was not mandatory before. If they've already applied for the pre-settled status before getting permanent residence, they should have the same benefits as before. The new rules should not apply to them. The students who've started their studies before 2021 will also avoid an increase in fees.

Kristína Pauliaková from Unimak is currently in the process of getting a master's degree in advertising at the University of London. She also points out another complication. And that is searching for a job alongside studies.


"As a result of these complications, employers may not call students for an interview in the future because they do not have British names. Fearing that they do not automatically have a pre-residence or permanent status in Britain,"  explains the President of Unimak. The United Kingdom is sending a signal to EU students: you are Europeans, we are British.




Seasonal workers also suffer from Brexit 


In addition to studying in Britain, the situation on the labor market is also becoming more complicated due to Brexit. At this time of the year, seasonal workers who work at hotels or restaurants are usually getting ready to head to Britain.



This year, due to Brexit, it is almost impossible for employment agencies to secure any jobs for them. They are relocating their agendas to other countries.


"Given the current situation, we are moving our work and study program to Ireland. It's friendlier to Europeans. We are therefore working to redirect all processes from London to Dublin, " says Přemysl Piskač, owner of the Czechoslovak agency CZECH-US.


The agency has been providing jobs in hotels, restaurants and cafes in the UK for seven years. Due to Brexit, he can't send seasonal workers from Slovakia and Czech Republic to London any longer.


"If a citizen of the European Union wants to go to Britain, he needs an employer who will explicitly ask for him. On top of that, the employer has to pay an extra fee. Subsequently, the EU worker will also pay a fee and hope to get visas, ”  the economist explains. He adds that it is easier to secure positions for EU citizens who have already been to Britain and have a pre-settled or settled status already.

According to him, the whole Europe comes to the UK, leading with the Italians and the Spanish. So it's not just Eastern Europeans. In this regard, Britain will lose a huge amount of manpower in positions that the British aren't really willing to take.



"It's a really sad side effect of Brexit. Europeans simply can not come to Britain for work. We are waiting for a change in the atmosphere, for a moment when the government understands that this is wrong, "  Přemysl Piskač describes the situation in the United Kingdom.


According to him, Brexit is a triumph of fear and fake news. "The British have claimed independence, but it's not an optimal state for their economy. After the corona crisis, they are in a similar debt as they've had following World War II, " says the economist.


"People coming to Britain from our regions are often the best of the best. Whether it's a student who goes through a strict selection at a British university, or a barista who launches a startup in Britain. All of this has contributed to Britain's upward economy. Now, an economic isolation is more likely, " he adds.


According to Piskač, everything would be easier if millions of people from Europe kept coming to Britain, paying taxes there. The outflow of citizens from the EU might eventually really turn against the British economy.


According to the British Ambassador Nigel Baker, Slovaks with skills, energy and commitment in the United Kingdom will always be welcome. "Britain is proud of the fact that many Slovaks are calling it home and that it strengthens the ties between our countries. They are the second largest community living outside of their country, " adds Baker.




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Thumbnail: University photo: cds.on.ca, ukuni.net
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