European Union Students and Brexit

Mohamed Adesola Adjaou, MSc Digital Marketing Management Student

By the end of October 2021, the United Kingdom must leave the European Union. Brexit will more or less lead to change for the students of the European Union coming to study in the United Kingdom. Two options will have to be taken into consideration; whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not. Throughout this blog, we will enumerate the effects that Brexit will have on UK universities with a deal or no deal.  Bear in mind that both parties, namely the United Kingdom and the European Union are working together to ensure that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union operates with a win-win deal.

Tuition fees for students from the European union.

What is the current situation?

Most EU students pay the same fees as United Kingdom citizens students throughout their university studies. Tuition fees vary from one locality to another throughout the United Kingdom. Generally, EU students are eligible for a loan for university studies. In Scotland, Undergraduate students are usually exempt from tuition fees.

What changes will BREXIT bring?

With a deal: The governments of the United Kingdom have confirmed that students from the European Union who will start their academic studies during or before the 2020-2021 academic year will still be eligible for tuition fees at the same price as that of United Kingdom citizens as well as the student loan and nothing will change for them throughout their university studies.

Without a deal: This situation will remain unchanged, no matter whether the UK leaves the EU with an agreement or without agreement.

Will Brexit influence my power to stay in the United Kingdom?

In the context of Brexit, the British government will end reciprocal European freedom of movement in the United Kingdom. This means that citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland (and their eligible families) will need an immigration clearance if they enter or enter the UK after leaving the UK. EU.

If agreed, there will be a “transition period” that will end on December 31, 2020.

In case of no agreement: the UK leaves the EU on 1 June (or soon thereafter).

The government has declared that EU, EEA and Swiss nationals already resident in the United Kingdom will be eligible to apply for a new status confirming that they can continue to live in the UK after that date. The status can be “set” or “pre-set” in the UK.

In case the UK leaves the EU without any deal: EU students and their families who are eligible to apply under the settlement scheme must do so by 31 December 2020.

If you arrive in the UK between the official date of Brexit and 31 December 2020, you must apply for a European temporary leave to stay, which will allow you to stay in the United Kingdom for a period of 3 years.

From 2021, you will need to apply for a student visa. British universities offer many aids to enable the students to have more ease through the application process.

Will my UK diploma still be valid in the EU?

British diplomas are recognized in many countries of the world and there are a number of agreements between the different countries that support this. Some of them are not related to the European Union which means that after the Brexit, most university degrees will still be valid. Recognition of some professional qualifications is more complicated, but British universities are hoping mutual recognition of professional qualifications will continue. You can find out if your chosen subject is academic or professional by addressing your university.

Will I be able to stay in the UK AFTER OBTAINING my degree?

With a deal: Any student arriving in the UK before January 2021 will be able to apply for a “pre-established status”. This will allow you to remain in the UK for five years and then apply for “established” status. Once you have updated your status, you will be able to stay in the United Kingdom for life. If you have lived in the country for at least five years, you can apply for settled status without delay.

Without a deal: If you enter the UK anytime after the date of Brexit and you wish to apply for a temporary residence permit, you will need to apply for a visa after three years when your remain to leave will expire.

Can I still enter the UK with ERASMUS+?

With a deal: It will always be possible for the students of the European Union to enter the United Kingdom through the Erasmus+ program, until January 2021, when the current regime ends. The British government is committed to negotiating a new program that will succeed the Erasmus + program.


Without a deal: If the two parties do not reach any agreement, The Commission of the European Union has stated that it will seek to continue funding Erasmus+ students in the UK the day after Brexit. Until all this is clear, British universities work in partnership with other universities of the European Union to ensure that student exchange can always take place no matter the finality of Brexit.

Can I still ask for Research Council funding for my PhD?

Yes, currently EU students are still eligible to apply for doctoral scholarships funded by UKRI from the 2019-2020 academic year, and UK universities are working to keep this practice unchanged in any Brexit scenario.

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