Studying abroad – penalty clause

Some countries provide grants for their citizens to study abroad on the condition that the student will return to work in the country after graduation. For example, the Thai government offers such scholarships (http://www.thailande.campusfrance.org/en/page/royal-thai-government-scholarship-program). Students who do not return to work in Thailand are expected to pay back three times the cost of tuition.

How could the Thai government enforce this? For example, if a student went to study in the UK and stayed long enough to obtain citizenship (perhaps through marriage), it seems that the only means of enforcement would be through the UK courts. Would a UK court enforce a penalty clause like this one, or only require the student to pay back the actual cost of tuition (plus interest)?

2 Answers
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International agreements provide that most countries (foreign) will enforce other countries’ civil judgements (domestic) unless the domestic law is repugnant to the foreign law. A U.K. court would probably enforce the Thai judgement providing it was satisfied that Thai due process had been followed and that the process was not repugnant to U.K. law.

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