How Brexit is likely to affect EU students studying in the UK

EU, EEA and Swiss students will need to deal with major changes that will influence their future studies in the United Kingdom, especially in the event of a ‘no deal’ exit. 

In 2019 more than 39,000 students have applied for full-time university in England, making the UK the second most popular student destination worldwide.

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Negotiations between the UK and the EU are ongoing and it remains unclear what it will mean for the European population, especially in the event of a no deal.

According to the statement made by the MP Chris Skidmore, earlier in May, EU, EEA and Swiss students starting university in the 2020/21 academic year, will still have access to the student finance loan to support them during their courses.

As listed in the House of Commons Library in 2017/18 there were 458,000 overseas students, 139,000 were from the EU and the remaining 319,000 from non-EU countries.

To be even more specific, right now there is a difference between EU, EEA and Swiss students and international students. Undergraduates or postgraduates classified by their universities as international students, will not have to be concerned about the outcome of Brexit, as it will likely not have any impact on their future studies.

EU, EEA and Swiss students instead, will have to face some adjustments that will directly impact the future of their studies in the UK.

Universities’ tuition fees might be one of the first things that will change for European Students. As of now, EU, EEA and Swiss students are treated as ‘Domestic British Students’ therefore they are entitled to the same benefits as UK students, meaning that they are not charged more for the tuition fees, do not require a student VISA and they are eligible for student loans.

Although Scotland made it clear that they will keep treating the EU students the same as Scottish students, this might not happen in the rest of the United Kingdom, where European students will be looking at paying the same amount as international students.

As reported by the Highest Education Policy Institution, there could be a fall of almost 60% of the new students arriving in the UK.

This is related to two major facts:

  • The end of the tuition fees loans entitlement to European students, which according to students are good deals for those who cannot afford to pay University.
  • The universities’ tuition fees for European students might increase.

Infographic by Giulia Frau


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Words: Giulia Frau | Image: Unsplash | Infographic: Giulia Frau

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