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Brexit and the Romanian education

Much ado about nothing, the Brexit had clear signs even before the referendum.

2016-07-22 10:48:58 - by Bogdan Tudorache

One should note Britain's superiority to the EU in financial and monetary markets, international trade and an impressive economic development of late, while its loss will only be in future trade if taxes are raised once more- but this may not be the case.

There are talks about following a Norwegian or Swiss model, in which taxes are pretty much waived. As a consequence of the rejection of the Membership in 1992, Switzerland and the EU agreed on a package of seven sectorial agreements signed in 1999 (known in Switzerland as "Bilaterals I"). These include: free movement of persons, technical trade barriers, public procurement, agriculture and air and land transport. In addition, a scientific research agreement fully associated Switzerland into the EU's framework research programmes.

However, Romanian parents might not be that happy with the Brexit. Scholarships offered by now as a EU member state might disappear altogether, as international students must pay hefty taxes in the UK graduate and post-graduate programs.

A blessing for Romania, EU integration brought in not only new deregulation for the local markets, but also the gratuity of education in certain EU states (Nordic countries). The UK system implies a series of taxes; however, they can be waived for better students via various scholarship programs such as Erasmus. Also, the UK state offered maintenance scholarships to EU students who were residents for more than three years in Her Majesty's land.

Alas, there were signs of Brexit even before the referendum. UK broke the rules and 7,500 Romanian and Bulgarian students had their financial support – fees and maintenance allowance – frozen without warning in November last year, according to The Guardian. Elsewhere, there are about 5,000 Romanian students involved in various UK graduate and post-graduate programs each year.

The UK government said it suspended the grants and loans after noticing an upsurge in the number of students from the two countries applying for maintenance support. Officials asked them for fresh proof they had been resident in the UK for the qualifying three years.

And things will not stop here: all of the scholarship benefits for Romanian and other EU students might go. Parents who already paid hefty taxes may have to move their children into Sweden or other countries that offer free education, file an entirely new set of documents, pay for a new location, and all the other troubles that come with an international move.

It may not be the case if the new treaty with UK should address these aspects, as there are more than just Romanians and Bulgarians studying in UK.
But it remains to be seen how the UK government will manage the aforementioned crisis, and if the Romanian and Bulgarian students will still get their support after all.


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