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Information for current and prospective EU students

How will the referendum affect you?

Updated 5 July 2016

Q: I am a current EU student at UEL. Will I be allowed to continue my studies?

A: We look forward to welcoming you back to UEL. The EU referendum outcome will not lead to any immediate change to the immigration status of current EU students. This has been confirmed in a statement (28 June) from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science. 

In his statement, Mr Johnson says, There will be no immediate changes following the EU referendum, including in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU, and European citizens living here. This includes those studying or working at UK universities. For students, visitors, businesses and entrepreneurs who are already in the UK or who wish to come here, there will be no immediate change to our visa policies.”


Q. Will my student loan/grant be affected?

A: EU students attending universities in England and Wales who are eligible under current rules to receive loans and grants from the Student Loans Company will continue to do so for the duration of courses they are currently enrolled on, or are about to start this coming year. This has been confirmed by the Student Loans Company for England, and by Universities Wales for Wales.

The statement (28 June) from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, reaffirms this. 

The Welsh government has published a statement.  The Scottish government has also published a statement.


Q: I am an EU national holding an offer to begin my studies this autumn. Will I be affected?

A: The EU referendum will not lead to any immediate change to the immigration status of EU students who are about to start a course in the coming academic year (2016-17). The rules applying to EU nationals who have applied for a place at university from this autumn to study a course which attracts funding from the Student Loans Company are unchanged.

The longer-term implications for EU students who want to apply to study in the UK in future years (i.e. from 2017–18 onwards) will depend on the outcome of negotiations and what kind of relationship the UK agrees with the EU. 

Find out more


Q: When will the UK leave the EU?

A:  At this point there are many unanswered questions about the timing and terms of the UK's exit from the EU. However, what we do know is that the UK is still currently part of the EU and will be for at least two academic years. The timing of any changes should become clearer over the next days and weeks.  We will continue to update this information as we learn more.

Q: Will tuition fees rise for EU students studying at UK universities as a result of Brexit?

A: There will be no immediate change to the tuition fees paid by current EU students attending UK universities.

It is important to remember that the UK will not leave the EU overnight. The negotiation process is expected to take up to two years and the EU has indicated that this process will not commence until the UK triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally signalling its intent to leave the EU. EU students are entitled to pay the same fees as UK students while the UK remains a member of the EU.

The fees that EU students are required to pay in the longer term will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations.

Q: I am an EU student studying in the UK under the Erasmus+ programme. Will I be affected?

A: The UK Government has said: “The referendum result does not affect students studying in the EU, beneficiaries of Erasmus+ or those considering applying in 2017. The UK’s future access to the Erasmus+ programme will be determined as a part of wider discussions with the EU. More broadly, existing UK students studying in the EU, and those looking to start in the next academic year, will continue to be subject to current arrangements.”

Find out more


Q: I am a UK student studying in the EU and elsewhere under the Erasmus+ programme. Will I be affected?

A: Students from UK universities currently overseas on an Erasmus+ placement, and those considering applying to participate in Erasmus+ next year (2016–17) will not be affected by the referendum result. 

The European Commission has confirmed that EU law continues to apply to the full in the United Kingdom until it is no longer a member. This therefore also applies to the projects financed through the Erasmus+ programme.

Find out more 

Q: What is happening to Horizon 2020 research funding?

A: In his statement on June 28, Jo Johnson, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, said, “The referendum result has no immediate effect on those applying to or participating in Horizon 2020. UK researchers and businesses can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way. The future of UK access to European research and innovation funding will be a matter for future discussions. Government is determined to ensure that the UK continues to play a leading role in European and international research and innovation.”

The European Commission has also released a statement. This “confirms that until the UK leaves the EU, EU law continues to apply to and within the UK, both when it comes to rights and obligations. This includes the eligibility of UK legal entities to participate and receive funding in Horizon 2020 actions.” 

The above information has been provided from various sources including Universities UK, The European Commission, the website and the Welsh government website.