New EU postgraduates should be treated as EU citizens says NPC

On the 1st May 2004, ten new countries joined the European Union. However, have higher education institutions begun to realise students from these countries are no longer overseas students? The National Postgraduate Committee (NPC) is angered that the government recommendation to higher education institutions is to classify these students as overseas students for the whole academic year 2003/04.

According to NPC's calculations, these new EU students could be paying as much as 3,000 less if they were paying only Home/EU fees from the period of 1st May through to the end of the academic year. This will also affect undergraduate students, although not to as great an extent since the academic year will normally finish shortly after the 1st May. Despite that, however, there will still be significant enough amounts extra that they will pay.

Tim Brown, General Secretary of the NPC says "All these students should be treated as EU citizens as of accession and no later so the difference in their fees from this date should be rebated, especially when it is no significant expense to the institution. We believe this is discrimination against such students and not in the spirit of the European Union. We are particularly angered that some institutions have already charged home/EU fees to some of these students at the start of the academic year but not to others, is this not treating some students less favourably?" NPC urges all vice chancellors, principals and provosts of higher education institutions to go against the recommendations of the government and funding councils and acknowledge the status of their new EU citizens.

Notes for editors:

  • The National Postgraduate Committee (NPC) is a charity to advance, in the public interest, postgraduate education in the UK run by postgraduates for postgraduates.
  • NPC has long standing policy against the University Visitor system almost since it was formally constituted in 1992.
  • For further information, please email the General Secretary, Tim Brown on