Student Frequently Asked Questions Student Frequently Asked Questions

Will EU/EEA students still be able to study at UK universities?

In the event that a deal is reached between the UK and the EU, it is envisaged that there will be no change to the immigration status of EU students who are already here or who arrive before the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020. This was confirmed in the government's Statement of Intent on the EU Settlement Scheme.

If a deal between the UK and the EU is reached, EU nationals who already live in the UK, or who arrive by 31 December 2020, will be able to apply for the Settlement Scheme. They will be able to be granted either settled status or pre-settled status.

The settled status will enable EU nationals having lived continuously in the UK for at least five years to live, work and study in the UK for as long as they like. EU nationals having lived in the UK for less than five years will be able to apply for pre-settled status, which will allow them to meet the five-year residency requirement needed to apply for settled status. Those eligible can apply here.

The government has published a policy paper on citizens' rights in the event of a no deal. It confirms that in the event of a no-deal exit from the EU, the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be implemented, enabling EU citizens and their family members living in the UK by exit day to secure their status and continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they do now. The Scheme opened on 30 March 2019.

In a no-deal scenario, the planned application deadline will be brought forward to 31 December 2020. Only EU citizens living in the UK by 31 October 2019 will be able to apply for the Settlement Scheme.

The government has reached agreements with governments of EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland about the rights of their citizens. These are broadly in line with those negotiated for EU students and citizens; EEA nationals will be able to guarantee their rights in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme.

Even in a no-deal scenario, EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK and live, study, work and access benefits and services as they do now.

In a no-deal scenario, EU citizens and their close family members who move to the UK after Brexit and wish to stay beyond 2020 will need to apply for a UK immigration status granting them permission to stay. After Brexit, the Home Office will open a new voluntary immigration scheme – the European temporary leave to remain (Euro TLR) Scheme – to provide a route to apply for this immigration status. Applications will involve a simple online process and identity, security and criminality checks. Successful applicants to the Euro TLR scheme will be granted a period of 36 months' leave to remain in the UK, running from the date the leave is granted.

The European Temporary Leave to Remain system may be problematic for EU students wishing to undertake a course of more than 3 years in length (such as students intending to study towards an undergraduate degree in Scotland or many PhD students), as they would have to commit to their course of study without the guarantee that they will be granted a visa, or without knowing the conditions of that visa under the future immigration system. 

Further information on what Brexit may mean for EU students is available here. Information on EEA and Swiss students is available here.

 

Will tuition fees for EU/EEA students studying at UK universities change as a result of Brexit?

Governments across the UK have confirmed that EU students starting a course in 2019–20 and in 2020–21 will still be eligible for home fee status and for financial support as per existing rules.

In England, Chris Skidmore MP, the Universities Minister, has confirmed that EU students starting a course in 2019–20 and in 2020–21 at an English higher education institution will remain eligible for home status even in a no-deal scenario.

The Welsh government has confirmed that the same EU student fee status and financial support arrangements will continue in 2019–20 and in 2020–2021

Scotland has confirmed that EU students starting a course in 2019–20 and in 2020-21 will be eligible for free tuition, even in a no-deal scenario.

For Northern Ireland, the government has also confirmed that EU students starting a course in 2019–20 or 2020–2021 will be eligible for home fee status even in a no-deal scenario.

The fee status of EU and EEA students starting courses at UK universities from 2021–22 has not yet been determined by UK governments.

Further information on what Brexit may mean for EU students is available here

Information on EEA and Swiss students is available here.

 

Will EU/EEA students continue to be eligible to receive loans and grants?

Governments across the UK have confirmed that EU students starting a course in 2019–20 and in 2020–21 will still be eligible for home fee status and for financial support as per existing rules.

In England, Chris Skidmore MP, the Universities Minister, has confirmed that EU students starting a course in 2019–20 and in 2020–21 at an English higher education institution will remain eligible for financial support from Student Finance England for the entire duration of their course, even in a no-deal scenario.

The Welsh government has confirmed that the same EU student fee status and financial support arrangements will continue in 2019–20 and in 2020–2021

The Scottish government and Universities Scotland have confirmed that there has been no change in current funding arrangements for EU students. This means that eligible EU students already studying in Scotland, including those that commenced their studies the current academic year, or those that are applying for 2019-20 and 2020-21, will continue to benefit from free tuition for the full duration of their course and, for those who meet the residency requirement, associated living cost support.

For Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed that EU students starting a course in 2019–20 or 2020–2021 will be eligible for the financial support associated with home fee status, even in a no-deal scenario.

The government has announced that "EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss nationals within scope of the citizens' rights EU Settlement Scheme, and Irish nationals, will continue to be eligible for student finance support on broadly the same terms as now".

 

What about students participating in the Erasmus+ exchange programme?

If a deal passes, the UK will continue to participate in Erasmus+ until the end of the programme in 2020. This would allow staff and students to complete mobility periods, and receive funding, through the Erasmus+ programme until the end of the academic year 2020-21.

The government has agreed to underwrite the payment of awards to all successful UK grants to the Erasmus+ programme signed before exit day in the event of a no-deal scenario. The government has launched its Grants Management Portal and has provided further technical guidance on accessing the UK government underwrite guarantee. This will allow funding for the mobility of outbound UK students to continue but will not extend to EU students wishing to study in the UK.

In the event of a no deal, the European Commission has proposed a regulation to underwrite the grants of both UK and EU students participating in Erasmus+ who have already begun their mobilities prior to the date exit. Therefore, EU students currently on an Erasmus+ placement at a UK university (and vice-versa) will not be affected by the outcome of the negotiations and will be able to complete their placement without disruption.

EHIC access for both UK and EU students may cease in a no-deal scenario. The UK government has confirmed they will cover the cost of healthcare for UK students who begin their courses in the EU ahead of 31 October 2019 exit date, and for the full duration of their courses. Beyond this, the government aims to establish reciprocal healthcare arrangements with each EU member state valid until 31 December 2020 in a no-deal. EU students commencing courses after exit date, therefore, will be subject to the reciprocal arrangements between the UK and the country of origin and may require third party cover.

For EU students commencing courses in the UK before the date of exit, the UK government has confirmed they will be able to access 'needs arising treatment' through the NHS.

If reciprocal healthcare arrangements are not in place by the 31st October 2019 the UK government has stated it will provide funding for healthcare for UK nationals in the EU27 for a period of 6-months after exit.

The Swiss Ministry (SERI) and the Swiss Federal Council have announced their commitment to continue mobility between Switzerland and the UK (under the current SEMP scheme) for the academic years 2019–20 even in the case of a 'no deal'. For the academic year 2020-21, this measure is contingent on changes to legislation by the Federal Council. In the case of a 'deal', SERI has also launched a revision of its Federal Act on International Cooperation in Education, Professional Education and Training, Youth Affairs and Mobility which would create scope for funding mobility between the UK and Switzerland and which would commence at the end of the UK-EU transition period.

 

Will immigration requirements for UEA students studying or working abroad in 2019/20 change?

In a ‘no-deal’ scenario, students' study/work residency status in the EU may change. Students should consult the Government’s guidance here to keep up to date on these requirements. Students may also wish to seek advice from their Erasmus host institution. 

Universities UK International (UUKi) has responded to this situation by launching the #SupportStudyAbroad social media campaign to highlight and amplify public support for study abroad and encourage the government to commit to funding study abroad programmes in the event of a no deal Brexit.

 

For UEA students planning to study or work abroad in Europe in 2020/21 onwards
As the final Brexit negotiations are still to be completed, it is not clear whether UK universities will remain eligible to participate in the Erasmus+ programme. UEA is working with individual partner universities in Europe to ensure that students can still study abroad in the region. 

Students wishing to apply for mobility within Europe for 2020/21 and beyond, should do so on the understanding that there will not be guaranteed or additional financial support either through the Erasmus programme, or the UK Government and should prepare based on the guidance provided for students commencing placements at international destinations outside of the EU.
 

I'm going to be driving in Europe, what do I need to do?

If there is a no deal Brexit, International Driving Permits (IDP) may be required for people intending to drive in EU countries after 28th March 2019 according to the latest Government advice.  Post Offices offering the IDP service can provide information on IDP requirements before 31 October 2019.

As well as an IDP you may also require a ‘green card’ as proof that your vehicle is insured. Please check the Government vehicle insurance advice. Your insurance provider should be able to issue you with a green card.
 

Do I need to check my travel insurance?

If you have not already sourced travel insurance for your time studying or working abroad and are looking to purchase insurance, please be mindful that most travel insurance policies will not cover you where you have already started your trip and are outside of the UK.  We are unable to recommend a policy that is suitable for your specific needs however we are aware of a provider called www.worldnomads.com who may be able to help you where you have already left the UK.

 

Who can provide further advice and support?

In all cases full support and advice is available from the University's International Student Advisory Team. If you have any questions on your immigration status or exercising your EU Treaty Rights in the UK, please email isat@uea.ac.uk