Colleges have been hit with a surge in applications from Romanians and Bulgarians wanting taxpayer-funded loans and grants to study in this country, the Daily Mail reports.

More than 5,000 students from the two countries enrolled on vocational courses in England last year – accounting for a staggering one in six of all applicants – with many entitled to up to £10,000 in grants and loans.

Yesterday leaked documents exposed government concerns over 'weaknesses' in checks on applicants, prompting fears of potential mass fraud.

Ministers have now announced a freeze on new grants and revealed all applicants from the EU had been...

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