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On 22-23 January, a conference hosted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg turned the spotlight on the latest developments and prospects of student loans. It aimed at bringing the topic of study loans to the forefront of the EU policy arena and at initiating the discussion about how loans can increase both access to and quality of higher education, in particular with a view to mobility of students.
The meeting was attended by government as well as bank and university representatives and other experts. Current national systems for student loans can be an obstacle to mobility as the loans are often not portable. The EIB supports several national and regional study loan systems and is open to implementing additional funding mechanisms, e.g. a pan-European, portable scheme, that can complement existing schemes to enhance the mobility of students across Europe.
The EIB plans to discuss the feasibility of such a system with DG Education and Culture in the near future.