Personal Immigration

Foreign students experience problems studying in the EU

According to a report issued by the European Commission, foreign students still experience difficulties coming to the EU to study, due to an uneven implementation of the relevant EU legislation.

The first report on how Member States have implemented EU rules on the entry and residence of students, pupils, unremunerated trainees and volunteers from third countries suggests that the use of these forms of temporary migration could be further improved. In particular, the level of harmonisation achieved by the Directive and the rights it grants could be increased and strengthened.

In 2009, more than 200,000 third-country nationals entered the EU for the purposes of studies, pupils exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service.

The report reveals a crucial need for amendments to the Directive, especially regarding: the reinforcement of procedural guarantees (specific deadlines for handling applications, obligation on Member States to give reasons for refusals); the strengthening of mobility clauses (which concern students admitted in a first Member State who apply to continue their studies in a second Member State); the stimulation of synergies with EU programmes that facilitate third-country nationals' mobility into the EU; or the improvement of the level of harmonisation as regards volunteers, unremunerated trainees and school pupils.

The Commission therefore intends to propose amendments to the Directive during 2012. Moreover, without impinging on the power of Member States to determine the volumes of migrants, the issue of access to work for third-country national students at the end of their studies could be specifically addressed in the future.

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