Until recently, the United Kingdom was one of the most popular destinations among Polish high school graduates dreaming of the best education possible. Young Poles have fallen in love with the British higher education system with its focus on acquiring practical skills and the collaborative relationships between students and lecturers. Especially since studying in the UK turned out to be cheaper than we might have thought. Unfortunately, the United Kingdom has decided to withdraw funding for studies for individuals from the European Union. Does this mean that Polish high school graduates will have to forget about cheap studies in Great Britain?
How much does studying in the UK cost?
Contrary to common beliefs, the cost of studying in England was not high at all. All thanks to the fact that citizens of the European Union had the “home student” status in the United Kingdom – identical to British students. This was associated with numerous privileges: a lower tuition fee amount (around 9000 pounds per year) and the possibility to take advantage of the Tuition Fee Loan. The second option made studying in England so attractive. This was because the Tuition Fee Loan had a low interest rate, and repayment started a year after completing the studies. And this was under the condition that the former student had an appropriate income. Moreover, the Tuition Fee Loan is written off after 30 years.
Unfortunately, the consequence of Brexit is a change in the status of students from the European Union. From 2021, their status will change to International. In practice, this means that for students from Poland and other EU countries:
– the tuition fees will increase,
– the possibility of obtaining a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan will disappear.
As a result of these changes, from 2021 onwards, the tuition fees for studying in the United Kingdom will be at least 20,000 pounds per academic year. This rate applies only to the most affordable undergraduate courses. On the other hand, for the most popular courses at some universities in England, you will even have to pay up to 38,000 pounds per year. With the lack of the possibility to avail Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan, this amount will be a prohibitive sum for most Polish high school graduates.
Who is affected by the changes in financing studies in Great Britain?
The new tuition fees for studying in the UK for citizens of the European Union will start in 2021. Does this mean a revolution for students who are already studying in England? Fortunately not.
Anyone who starts their studies at a university in the United Kingdom before 2021 will be able to use the funding for studies under the current rules. This means both lower tuition fees and the possibility of obtaining a Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Loan.
If you are currently studying in England, you will be able to complete your studies with the existing financial support.
If you took your high school leaving exam (matura) this year and are currently applying for studies in England, you will pay the old tuition fee rate and be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Loan.
For this reason, we encourage this year’s high school graduates to apply as soon as possible to universities in the United Kingdom. You have literally only a few weeks left to go and study in England on preferential terms. Recruitment is still ongoing, and there are still places available at good universities in the United Kingdom waiting for you!
How else can you take advantage of the old UK study funding rules?
As we mentioned before, students who are already studying in the UK and high school graduates who are accepted to a British university this year have access to lower tuition fees and the possibility of obtaining a Tuition Fee Loan or Maintenance Loan. And who else can catch the old rules of financing studies in England?
There is such a possibility for individuals who are currently studying in Poland but decide to resume their studies in the United Kingdom and apply to British universities this year. This applies to individuals who started:
– 1 year of studies at any Polish university (public or private),
– 2 or 3 years of studies at a private university (but have not completed those studies yet).
On the other hand, individuals who are currently studying in the 2nd or 3rd year at a public university can also benefit from education funding on the old terms, but only if they choose a university in Wales. Indeed, in such a situation, for universities in England, it would be necessary to pay tuition fees for the first year of studies from one’s own pocket.
There is one more group that can benefit from studying in the UK on preferential financial terms. These are the students who will be taking their final exams (matura) and applying for studies in 2021. How is this possible? Of course, we are talking about students who decide to pursue undergraduate studies combined with a foundation year. Indeed, several universities in the UK accept such students before they take their final exams (matura). That’s why, if you have just completed the second year of high school or the third year of technical school, you can apply today for a foundation year at a university in the United Kingdom. This way, you will be able to take advantage of the old funding rules for your entire period of study in England. This applies both to the foundation year and to later undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom.
Brexit will have a significant impact on the pockets of Poles who will want to start studying in the UK in the future. Fortunately, the law in the UK never works retroactively, so current students at British universities can rest assured. Their financial situation will not change. This also applies to individuals who will start their studies in England this year. So there is nothing to wait for. Recruitment to universities in the United Kingdom is still ongoing, and for many people, it is the last chance to secure a high-quality education on preferential financial terms.