The Multicultural Council of Reykjavík has sent a letter to parliament, formally objecting to a proposed raise in tuition at the University of Iceland from students arriving outside of Europe.
The proposal, submitted to parliament earlier last week, would put a special surcharge on students attending the university who come from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Katrín Jakobsdóttir is still reviewing the proposal.
The objections raised by the city point out among other things that students from outside the EEA are not entitled to school loans as it is, and adding an additional cost will only put up another hindrance for them.
“Immigrants from outside the EEA are not entitled to student loans from LÍN and have to pay school tuition fees in full. If a special surcharge is enacted, it is very likely that a large portion of these students will be forced to quit school or wait five to seven years (the amount of time it would take to get Icelandic citizenship),” the statement reads in part.
“What message are we sending immigrants? … Shouldn’t we rather encourage immigrants to attend university rather than set up roadblocks?”