Romanian and Bulgarian students plan legal challenge after their UK student loans were suspended

 

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The Independent Online

Around 20 Romanian and Bulgarian students are planning to launch a legal challenge against the government after their student loans were suspended last year.

They are calling for a judicial review of the policy which saw thousands of university and college students have their funding frozen, a move which has been labelled "xenophobic" and "discriminatory".

An Independent report earlier this year voiced the opinions of students who feared losing their places at university through losing funds last November as a result of an investigation by the Student Loans Company (SLC).

They suspended all maintenance grants and funding to students, and asked for fresh evidence of their residency in the UK.

Holborn Chambers, based in central London, will be representing the students.

Some of these students, speaking to the Guardian, describe the situation as incredible "stressful".

Cezar Garabetanu, one of those students considering taking legal action against the government along with his wife, told The Guardian:

"We came here to make a family and make a better future for us. We are no different to anyone else: we just want to work hard for a better life for us and our family."

Romanian Member of the European Parliament Petru Luhan visited the UK last month and met hundreds of Romanian students currently residing in Britain. He condemned the "discrimination" faced by the students affected. He said he would be writing to David Cameron, David Willetts, the European Commission and the Romanian Prime Minister to urge them to address the "untenable situation".

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: "We have asked each of these students to supply additional information to support their applications for maintenance, before any further public funding is made available to them or their institutions." 

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