Universities and Science Minister David Willetts has voiced concern for Syrian students
Two senior British ministers have written to higher education action group Universities UK to urge the sector to waive the fees of Syrian students impacted by the country's civil conflict.
In a joint letter, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Universities and Science Minister David Willetts called on institutions to make sure they support Syrian students to avoid the "worst case scenario" of expulsion or legal action over unpaid fees.
"We were pleased to hear that many institutions are making sure that warning letters regarding non-payment of fees that would normally be sent automatically are not being sent," the letter said.
"We are also pleased that many universities have waived or deferred fees," it added.
The letter also outlined a recent concession by the Home Office which allows Syrian students to switch their visa categories or extend their leave to remain without having to return back home.
"The extension for one year will be a great relief to those students anxious about their current situation and status in the UK," the letter explained.
Figures show around 250 Syrian students on British courses are funded by the Syrian government and another 420 are privately financed.
Universities of Edinburgh and Newcastle have been pinpointed as having twice and three times more Syrian students than other UK institutions. Both schools are providing a deferred payment facility and financial assistance to students.
Civic activism group Avaaz, an advocate of "people-powered politics," has called on the Foreign Office to directly assist the Syrians in the way it did with Libyan students in 2011 during the uprising against Gaddafi.
At that time, funding for students came from National Transitional Council (NTC), the interim authority that replaced Gaddafi.