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Government Offers Clarity to EU Students Post-Brexit

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students at universities in England, Wales and Scotland will continue to be treated the same as domestic students in the first intake after Brexit.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said EU students starting courses in autumn 2019 will pay the same tuition fees as English students and their access to support will remain unchanged.

The commitment will last for the entirety of their degree courses and follows a similar pledge by Scottish government, whereby their status will remain unchanged and therefore they will pay no tuition fees.

The increased clarity will ensure universities will face no immediate cliff edge for recruiting students from the EU after Brexit in March 2019.

In 2016 there were more than 120,000 full-time students from the EU at UK universities and vice-chancellors have been calling for urgent clarification about the status of EU students who might apply for courses starting in 2019. Russell Group universities are particularly exposed to declining EU numbers, along with those in London, as they have a higher proportion of students domiciled from other EU countries.

Some of those with the highest proportion of EU students include: University of Aberdeen, London School of Economics, Imperial College London, Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University and the University of Cambridge, amongst others.

Despite the announcement there has been no reciprocal deal on how UK students in the EU will be treated.

There also remains questions over how EU students in the UK will be treated post Brexit. If they were to be classified as overseas students their fees could be much higher, potentially limiting student demand.