Foreign students who refuse to pay their student loans should be ARRESTED, experts

UK: A think tank has suggested that foreign students who default on student loans should be charged with criminal offence.

Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) has proposed the government to treat the defaulters as “tax evaders and benefit cheats” in the upcoming education bill.

The proposal is aimed to target Students from European union and UK students working abroad, who consume public funds for the loans and never pay back.

In 2014, similar law came into force in New Zealand to recover around 3.25 billion dollars owed by borrowers overseas - mostly Australia.

Nick Hillman of the think tank says the public will get back £22 for every £1 spent on prosecution.

“I cannot remember coming across any policy that was so efficient during my three-and-a-half years in Whitehall,” said Hillman.

Mr Hillman added: “A major advantage of the policy is that it is a precision measure that can be used for the worst cases, while deterring the wider group from not complying. Hardship provisions are available to those who cannot afford to pay, meaning the sanction only applies to those who simply refuse to do so.”

EU students owe a £1.3 billion of the English student loan book as 11 per cent of former students from the EU failed to repay their loans after graduation.

A Government spokesman said: “We are determined to tackle those who deliberately avoid repaying their loans. We work closely with the Student Loans Company, HMRC and other countries to take strong action against those who avoid repaying, particularly borrowers living overseas, including sharing data and issuing court orders in other countries where necessary.


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