Research and analysis

European Union students studying in English higher education institutions

This study aimed to identify the pathways, intentions and relevant perceptions of (non-UK) European Union (EU) students entering English higher education. It sought to identify why students wished to obtain an English HE qualification, their attitudes towards the uptake and repayment of tuition fee loans and their future career plans.


European Union students studying in English higher education institutions

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Drawing on longitudinal data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and from a national survey of (non-UK) EU students in English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), it aimed to provide a better understanding of their views on (and use of) the Student Loans system, in order to inform government policy and strategy in this area.

The research collected evidence on the mobility patterns of European Union (EU) students both before they enter an English Higher Education Institution and to ascertain what, if any, plans a student has for their destination after their initial course of study. The study assessed the attitudes and plans of EU students towards borrowing and subsequently repaying loans.

The research team used both primary research and secondary analysis of other data sources to ascertain the mobility patterns, anticipated destinations and attitudes to student loan repayments of EU students.


  • introduction
  • European Union students: a population profile
  • financial issues and tuition fee loans
  • future plans
  • implications
  • appendices
Published 5 August 2008