Saturday, 11 March 2017 09:09

Many foreign students not repaying their student loans - at a cost of £90million to our country

It has been talked about a lot lately, university students not paying their student loans back. There are many reasons for this, namely the fact that the threshold for repayments keeps going higher meaning the students never actually earn enough to begin making repayments.

Another aspect to this story though is the impact that European students are having with regards to not repaying their student loans.

According to recent news reports, over £90million pounds is still to be returned after nearly 15,000 EU students disappeared (probably back to their own countries) after gaining their degrees from UK universities.

All these students have effectively had the best education in this country, from the best professionals at the best academic establishments and have now taken all that wealth of knowledge and expertise back to benefit their own country all without paying a penny back into the British student system.

Is it us or does this stink? This is unsustainable.

What is particularly hard to stomach and get our heads around is that a lot of talent in this country goes unrealised and wasted because potential British students cannot afford £9,000 per year to study and this figure is set to rise to nearly £9,300.

Yet overseas students are entitled to come here and study when they have got their student loan sorted and many are leaving without paying a penny back. Their home nations are then getting the very best of talent from them. It just doesn’t seem fair.

As it stands when an oversees student finishes their course and they wish to return home they have an obligation to inform our tax system of where they are currently residing so that our authorities know where they are, where they work and ultimately whether they are in a position to pay their loan money back. The EU students are expected to disclose this information to the authorities on leaving – most don’t. We believe that the rules have to change and that people should be tracked down should they fail to comply with this simple rule. It is theft really. The SLC (Student Loans Company) has said that they intend to hire investigators to find the students in a bid to bring money back to the country but we very much doubt that this will happen. It appears far too easy to let them get away with it.

It certainly appears that the system is being abused and has many flaws and looks to be an easy way for foreign students to get their hands on the best loans that they will ever have at the cheapest rates, and what’s more they will never have to make a repayment again. The Student Loans Company has a lot to answer for.

It is the taxpayers of this country that will ultimately lose out and foot the bill if something isn’t done. 

When people discover that it is nearly £90million that has been dropping out from under our noses and then we hear in the same news bulletin that local councils are having to make cutbacks to social care for our elderly and councils are scrapping many bin services which will inadvertently lead to fly tipping and messier neighbourhoods – it isn’t going to sit well. It must feel a lot like a stab in the back to the people of this country. Pay your taxes all your life and you get nothing basically. There’s no wonder the people of this country have no faith in the system.

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