Brexit transition period

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and entered a post-Brexit transition period. During this transition period (ending on 31 December 2020), the UK and EU are engaged in negotiations on a future relationship. However, there is a risk that no agreement is reached between the UK and EU by the end of 2020, which would have several implications for universities, their students and staff.


During this transition period, the UK will:

  • continue to contribute to the EU budget
  • continue to apply the entire body of EU law, and so be subject to all EU rules
  • be outside of the EU’s political institutions, with no voting rights

The transition period is intended to minimise disruption for the remainder of 2020. It will mean: 

  • EU students starting courses in 2020/21 or before will remain eligible for home fee status and student support for the duration of their courses
  • EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members who are living in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme
  • UK universities can continue to participate in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ and receive funding for the duration of their projects


Preparing for the end of the transition period – a guide for universities

UUK has published a briefing for universities on how to prepare for the end of the transition period in the event that there is no UK-EU agreement on a future relationship by that point. 

This briefing, which covers a range of issues including immigration rule changes and the impact on research collaboration and student mobility, sets out:

  • the risks that universities should be aware of
  • a series of suggested actions for universities to take in order to minimise the risk of possible disruption
  • links to the latest advice and resources from the UK government and other sources
  • areas where UUK is seeking further clarification from the UK government


Download the briefing 


Updates, comments and questions

This page and supporting documents will be updated as and when required, including when relevant government announcements are made, or actions taken, that address areas of uncertainty, but also based on Universities UK members’ feedback.