Not such a risky business

February 10, 2011

Your report "Fees shift could leave UK 'haemorrhaging' cash to EU students" ( January) states that many European Union students will fail to reach the £21,000 threshold at which tuition fee repayment begins, and therefore will not repay their student loans, or do so only in part. We know this is an important issue, which is why our procedures already take these risks into account.

Our systems recognise that different countries have different labour markets - in Bulgaria, for example, the current repayment threshold is £6,000 compared with £15,000 in the UK. This means that graduates living in Bulgaria and earning above £6,000 have to make student loan repayments at 9 per cent of their earnings above this threshold.

We have procedures to make sure that we obtain repayment from all graduates, including EU citizens who return to their home country after study and UK graduates who move abroad. The loans we make are contractual obligations enforceable in other countries.

Ed Lester, Chief executive, Student Loans Company.

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