Money mistakenly awarded to EU students in the UK

28 August, 2015

Due to improper checks, millions of pounds have been wrongly awarded to EU students in the UK and are yet to be recovered.


The Student Loans Company reported that just UK£280,000 (USD$431,566) has now been paid back by individuals, two years after the problem was discovered.

For three years between 2010 and 2013, loans and grants were given to students at alternative providers, which receive no direct state funding. The SLC relied solely on the word of the student that they had lived in the UK for three years, which would then qualify them for maintenance support.

Claims from EU nationals for the tuition fee loans – up to a maximum of UK£6,000 (US$9,375) per year –increased from 7,000 in 2010/11 to 53,000 in 2013/14.

In 2013, 11,000 applications were reviewed, after it was feared the system was being abused, and it was found that 992 people had been given money before stricter checks were put in place. A total of £5.4 million (USD$8.4 million) was wrongly paid, of which £1.8m (USD$2.8 million) has since been found to be claimed legitimately, with the number of ineligible students falling to 766.

A SLC spokesman said, "SLC has put special recovery arrangements in place to actively recoup repayment from individuals ineligible for student finance. Collecting repayments is one of SLC's key business priorities and we are focused on collecting every pound of taxpayer money that is owed."

Eleanor Healy
Editorial Assistant



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