Students with three years’ residency say they are being unfairly targeted by rule changes aimed at stemming a flood of migrants
Crina Petrariu, a Romanian in her second year at Hull had her maintenance grant withdrawn and a demand to pay back £3,500
When the letter landed on Crina Petrariu’s doormat at the home she shares with her husband and young son in Hull, she assumed there had been a mistake. The short, official note stated that the second-year chemistry student’s financial support had been frozen – and that she now owed the government £3,500.
"It was a shock but I didn’t really think it could be right," said the 34-year-old Romanian in a break between studying and looking after her six-year-old son, Rares. "I called the student finance people and they said it was a new law and that the government had said to stop all finance to Romanians and Bulgarians."
Two months later, despite repeated phone calls and sending off a parcel of bank statements to prove she has lived in Britain for more than the three years qualifying her for student maintenance support, Petrariu, a student at Hull University, says she still has not had a penny of her allowance or tuition fee support.