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Two Students’ Plan to Allow Hungarians to Continue Attending British Universities

Júlia Tar 2022.04.20.

In the past years, no one was surprised anymore to hear that a Hungarian student was studying in Britain. This tendency now seems to be changing due to Brexit. The annual tuition fee for a British university can now be up to sixteen million forints instead of four million since Hungarians have also been granted “overseas” status. Hungarian students are working to ensure that Hungarians can continue to study at British universities, with the European Parliament soon to vote on their plan.

According to SchengenVisaInfo.com students from the EU Member States have submitted way fewer applications in the British higher education institutions in the 2020/2021 period, the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) has pointed out.

British universities are charging about 170 percent more than in 2020 when the country was still an EU Member State, raising their prices from (€11,095) to about £25,000 to £40,000 (€29,990-47,985), in addition to other requirements related to visa applications, which adds another €348.

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Moreover, Hungarian students are required to pay an extra €564 to the Immigration Health Surcharge, on top of high living costs in the UK.

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of students studying in the UK. While in the year 2020-2021, around 705 students were accepted out of around 1,100 applicants, in the 2021-2022 academic year, only 450 students applied out of which 190 have been accepted, but eventually only 60 began their studies,”

Co-director of the Hungarian Youth Association (HYA), Soma Pirityi said.

The HYA and its Polish partner, the Federation of Polish Student Societies in the UK, have launched an EU petition to ensure that the post-Brexit rise in UK university fees does not become a barrier for young people living in the European Union.

The SaveEUStudents campaign started as a petition jointly submitted by the two organizations to the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions. At its meeting on October 25, the resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote of 30 in favor, 0 against, and 2 abstentions, and will be voted on by the European Parliament in a plenary session, most likely in June.

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The UK also left the EU education program Erasmus+ on December 31, 2020. Students are therefore planning to set up an EU program to cover university fees and living costs, and replace Erasmus+.

Basically, it would be necessary to collect signatures to bring a petition before the committee, but we found supporters among the EPP and Socialist MEPs who brought the petition forward on the agenda because of the importance of the issue,”

said Bálint Karagich, co-founder of HYA, about the process.

Fact

The Hungarian Youth Association was founded by Bálint Karagich and Soma Pirityi, who have experienced first-hand the difficulties of students trying their luck abroad. Two years ago, while still at university, they took it upon themselves to unite the Hungarian student diaspora abroad, and today HYA has 7,000 members in 11 countries, making it the largest Hungarian student organization. It was set up to combat the myth of the unattainability of studying abroad, Forbes reports.

If adopted, a comprehensive EU-United Kingdom student mobility scheme would cover the tuition fees and living costs of EU students, contribute to their visa and travel costs, and immigration health allowances, and two young Hungarians have played a key role in this effort.

Featured image: Oxford via Pixabay


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