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Overseas Students: Loans

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what total value of Student Loan Company loans is held by students from European Union member states other than the UK; (187650)

(2) how many students from EU member states other than the UK hold loans from the Student Loan Company.

The Student Loans Company issued tuition fee loans to students from other European Union countries for the first time in September 2006. During the 2006-07 academic year 7,100 EU students studying in England borrowed £9.7 million in tuition fee loans. This represents 2.5 per cent. of tuition fee loans issued in England.

The Student Loans Company has established payment arrangements for borrowers from other EU countries. Those staying in the UK are expected to obtain a National Insurance Number and make repayments through the UK tax system. If they are going abroad arrangements are in place for repayments to be scheduled and these borrowers are made aware of the methods of repayment available to them.

So that all who can pay contribute to the costs of their education we have put in place variable threshold bands which are dependent on where the borrower lives. Effective collection across the EU is underpinned by EC regulation 44/2001, which allows the SLC to obtain judgments in UK courts, which can be enforced by courts in other EU countries.