Uncertain future for British students

The number of British students at the University of Groningen continues to rise. But their future at the RUG after Brexit is uncertain.
By Emily Howard

Since 2015, the percentage of British students has risen by over 50 percent. There are currently 435 British students enrolled at the RUG – 100 more than last year.

The RUG released a statement in 2016 following Brexit, saying that it is not yet clear whether Brexit will have consequences for the level of British students’ tuition fees. ‘This will depend on the negotiations between the UK and the EU.’

Lower tuition fees

Financial uncertainty is a big issues for British students at the RUG. International and European Law student Molly Shirley decided to come to Groningen because of the lower tuition fees. ‘University in the UK is 9000 pounds a year and compared to here it’s just ridiculous,’ she explains.

Shirley hopes that the fees don’t increase after Brexit becomes official. ‘I’ve got a little brother and a little sister and I don’t want them to be limited by finance, I want them to have as many opportunities as possible.’

Financial reasons

Fellow Law student Edward Bond also came to Groningen for financial reasons. ‘I read about how cheap it was, and I didn’t get the impression that I’d be too disadvantaged being an international student because they cater for everything in English as well,’ Bond explains.

He is thinking of staying here for a Masters, but that will decision will depend on the Brexit terms. ‘If I end up having to pay a lot more money every year as a non-EU student then I don’t think it would be a possibility. I would have to do a Masters in the UK.’

Two years later, the situation for British students is still uncertain with no clear resolution in sight. RUG spokesperson Jorien Bakker says that for the next academic year, ‘applications from British students of course will be accepted, but we do not know at the moment what the implications of Brexit are for British students’ status or fees. Governments have to make things clear.’

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