With the Brexit transition period set to end on 31st December, first-year EU students are facing fines of up to £800 if they don’t arrive in the UK before the start of 2021.
In a statement, the Home Office reiterated that EU students will not be qualified for EU pre-settled status under this situation. When the new year kicks off, students will need to pay £348 to apply for a visa, on top of £470 for healthcare insurance.
EU students: 🇪🇺 you need to be in the UK until 31 Dec 2020 to be eligible for 🇬🇧 #settledstatus.
❗If you are studying at a UK university but doing your course online (from you home country) because of covid-19, and arrive to the UK from January you'll need a student visa! pic.twitter.com/chAVCGdgMv
— EU Delegation UK (@EUdelegationUK) November 10, 2020
University students coming from the EU/EEA and Switzerland, have enjoyed the same amount of tuition fee as local UK students up until now.
As a result of Brexit, EU students will risk losing their home fee status from the next academic year, commencing the autumn of 2021. International students too will suffer as the price of tuition fees will experience an increase.
The fee can increase between £3,000-30,000 depending on the course and university.
MP for Glasgow North West, Carol Monaghan, shared her opinion on Twitter about the Brexit fee on EU students.
In the middle of a global pandemic, the UK Gov decide to levy an £800 Brexit charge on EU students if they are not in UK by 31st Dec. Reckless irresponsibility from the Home Office but sadly the kind of decisions we have come to expect.https://t.co/5pNw6hCZHB
— Carol Monaghan MP 🏴 (@CMonaghanSNP) November 27, 2020
Many EU students have stayed in their home countries during the pandemic. Tamara, 22, who is a current second-year EU student, said:
“I have been studying at home since the start of this semester. I stayed in London during the summer, but unfortunately, I couldn’t afford the expensive rent anymore.”
“I wasn’t able to work for a couple of weeks because of the lockdown and my manager didn’t put me on the furlough list after not putting me on the rota for a long time. Now that I’m back home, I can save a lot of money while studying at home.”
She continued: “The university has sent me a couple of emails explaining the situation, but £800 is still too much for me and my family. I’m not from a rich family that can throw away this much money like nothing.”
“Apart from this, I’ll have to pay for healthcare insurance every single year, which is three times higher than £470. I’m not sure how my family and I will react to this. I’ll have to work a lot harder to be able to afford this. This is not fair at all.”
More updates on Brexit:
- Brexit’s impact on free movement for students, workers and tourists
- EU Deputy Commission on Brexit: “Agreement reached with London”
- Brexit: still no deal and time is running out, here’s what’s happening
Words: Ye Qiu｜Subbing: Dina Nazari