The EU referendum outcome will not lead to any immediate change to the immigration status of current EU students or those about to start a course in the coming academic year (2016–17). This has been confirmed in a
statement (27 June) from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science.
The longer term implications for EU students who want to apply to study in the UK (ie from 2017–18 onwards) will depend on the outcome of negotiations and what kind of relationship the UK agrees with the EU.
An immediate priority for Universities UK is to urge the government to take steps to ensure students from EU countries can continue to study at UK universities on the same terms after the UK leaves the European Union and beyond.
There will be no immediate change to the tuition fees paid by current EU students attending UK universities.
It is important to remember that the UK will not leave the EU overnight – the negotiation process is expected to take up to two years, and the EU has indicated that this process will not commence until the UK triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally signalling its intent to leave the EU. EU students are entitled to pay the same fees as UK students while the UK remains a member of the EU.
The fees that EU students are required to pay in the longer-term will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations.
EU students attending universities in
England and Wales who are eligible under current rules to receive loans and grants from the Student Loans Company will continue to do so for the duration of courses they are currently enrolled on, or are about to start this coming year. This has been confirmed by the
Student Loans Company for England, and by
Universities Wales for Wales.
statement (27 June) from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, on student finance in England, reaffirms this.
Under EU law, students from EU member states applying for undergraduate degrees at Scottish universities are currently eligible for free tuition. For EU students attending a university in
Scotland, the Scottish Government and Universities Scotland have
confirmed that there has been no change in current funding arrangements and that eligible EU students already studying in Scotland or commencing their studies in the coming months will continue to benefit from free tuition and, for those who meet the residency requirement, associated living cost support.
Students from UK universities currently overseas on an Erasmus+ placement, and those considering applying to participate in Erasmus+ next year (2016–17) will not be affected by the referendum result.
The European Commission has
confirmed that EU law continues to apply to the full in the United Kingdom until it is no longer a member. This therefore also applies to the projects financed through the Erasmus+ programme.
In the longer term, Universities UK will be urging the government to seek assurances from the EU that the UK can continue to access this valuable exchange programme.
There will be no immediate change to the UK university sector's ability to participate in EU research and innovation programmes such as Horizon 2020. This was confirmed in a
statement (27 June) from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science. This has also been
confirmed by the EU commissioner for research and innovation.
The long term future of UK participation in European science programmes will be decided as part of the UK's exit negotiations. These talks are expected to take up to two years. The UK will remain an EU member during this time and as such will be entitled to participate in EU programmes and apply for EU research grants.
Universities UK is committed to making sure that the UK government takes steps to ensure that the UK can continue to participate in EU research collaboration and funding programmes after the UK formally leaves the European Union.
The government has confirmed
that there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in
the UK as a result of the referendum, and that it ‘recognises and values
the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work,
study and live in the UK’.
The UK remains a member of the
EU for the time being and the government has confirmed that there will be
no immediate changes to UK visa policies for university staff currently
in, or contemplating coming to, the UK from the EU.
In terms of recruiting EU staff
in the longer term, any changes will depend on the kind of relationship
the UK negotiates with the EU. However, UUK is committed to highlighting
the value of all EU staff, including researchers, scientists and
academics, and is urging the UK government to guarantee that those
currently working at UK universities can continue to do so in the
UUK is also calling on the UK
government to make a clear and unequivocal statement that EU nationals
currently living in the UK are welcome here, and that any changes to
immigration status will only apply to new entrants to the UK.
Further information on the
impact of Brexit on higher education employers is available from UCEA.