This page provides regularly updated information about what the UK’s departure from the European Union means for students from EU countries.

Latest news:

Universities UK International (UUk) briefing note on continued higher education and research collaboration through European Union programmes

UK and European institutions have a strong history of collaborating through EU higher education and research and innovation programmes. Despite the uncertainty created by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, it is vital to note that at present there is no change to UK’s status in Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. Therefore, we would like to encourage European universities to continue to pursue collaborative research and student exchange opportunities with UK counterparts. UK universities remain strongly committed to strengthening their valuable links with European institutions and researchers. We urge European universities and researchers to continue to work with and collaborate with UK partners to ensure that these strong foundations are preserved.

Phase One Agreement and the Implications for Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+

On 8 December 2017, the UK Government and the EU negotiators published a joint report on the progress made during phase one of negotiations of the UK’s exit from the EU. Marking the conclusion of the first phase of the negotiations, the report addresses citizens’ rights, the Irish border, and the financial settlement. Regarding the latter, the UK and the EU have agreed that the UK will continue to pay into the EU budget until the end of the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in 2020 on the same terms as a full Member State. This means that there will be no change the UK’s status in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ until 2021 at the earliest. The UK remains fully eligible to apply for and receive funding in all parts of Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+.

The joint report also outlines that the EU and the UK will “agree to simplified procedures so as to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens extending well beyond the end of the current MFF”. This ensures that projects requiring funding beyond the end of the programmes in 2020 would continue to be appropriately managed and funded, ensuring that they can proceed as planned without disruption.

Successor programmes

The UK’s relationship with the successor programmes of Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ beyond 2020 will not be clarified until those programmes have been finalised. Nonetheless, Universities UK has set out the view of our members that the UK’s interest would be best served by continuing to participate in them. We are engaging closely with EU stakeholders and actively participating in the policy development process for the successor programmes for Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. Universities UK will contribute to the public consultation for the next framework programme and the discussions on the Erasmus+ successor programme.

Citizens’ rights

The joint report outlines the residency rights of EU nationals currently living in the UK and of UK nationals living in other EU countries. The cut-off for EU nationals to be covered by the withdrawal agreement is the date the UK leaves the EU (29 March 2019) meaning that anyone residing in the UK on or before this date will be covered. The UK and 27 EU Member States can require those concerned

to apply to obtain status conferring the rights of residence and be issued with a residence document. EU nationals living in the UK will be able to apply for ‘settled status’ if they have been a resident in the UK for five years. They can do so when the application portal opens. This is likely to be towards the end of 2018 and it will remain open for at least two years. EU nationals who have been in the UK for less than that, are entitled to remain in the UK to build up five years residency and then apply. Those with settled status will be able to leave the UK for up to five years without losing their status. The UK government is seeking to make this process as light touch as possible.

UK Government Financial Guarantees

One caveat applies to the issues agreed to in the joint report, which is that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, referring to the fact that the second phase of exit negotiations – on the transition period and the future UK-EU relationship – has the potential to influence the UK’s withdrawal agreement.

In the unlikely event of significant changes to the above agreed terms, or a no-deal scenario, the UK Government has committed to guarantee all successful bids made by UK applicants to Horizon 2020 while the UK is still an EU Member State. This means that European researchers can continue to apply for Horizon 2020 funding for joint research projects with UK partners until 29 March 2019 in complete confidence that the funding will not be affected by the UK’s departure. See also our Q&A for more information.

Similarly, students at UK and European universities remain eligible to participate in Erasmus+ exchanges until the point of exit. To provide further clarity for universities and students, the UK Government has confirmed that it will guarantee  grant agreements for successful Erasmus+ bids signed while the UK is still an EU Member State, even if they are not approved until after the UK leaves and/or payments continue beyond the point of the exit in March 2019. This means that UK universities and students studying at UK universities can prepare for participation as usual for the 2018-19 and the 2019-20 academic year.

Breakthrough in Brexit negotiations and implications for universities: UK will continue to be a part of Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ until the end of the programmes

The UK Government and the EU negotiators have come to an agreement on phase one of the negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union. This agreement details that “the UK will continue to participate in the Union programmes financed by the EU budget 2014-2020 until their closure”.

The UK Government has stated publicly that the United Kingdom is committed to continuing full participation in the Erasmus+ programme up until the UK leaves the European Union. The Government has now agreed a fair financial settlement with the EU enabling it to move to the next stage of negotiations. With the caveat that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, in principle the UK will continue to benefit from all EU programmes, including Erasmus+, until the end of the current budget plan (2014-2020).

In the unlikely event of a ‘no deal’ scenario,  the Government guarantee already made still stands, and successful Erasmus+ applications which are submitted while the UK is still a Member State, even if they are not approved until after the UK leaves, can continue beyond the point of exit.  The guarantee applies to funding allocated to UK organisations, whether in applications submitted to Brussels (centralised) or to a National Agency (decentralised), whether or not the UK is the lead partner. Applications for Higher Education submitted before the exit date will include mobility in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 academic years.

Practical details regarding how this would be implemented will be discussed with the Department for Education (the UK’s Erasmus+ National Authority) over the coming months.

Immigration Rules change for T4 student visa (non UK or EU applicants)

Legislation was laid in Parliament, which sets out a number of changes to the immigration rules. These will come into effect from 28 December 2017, with the majority of the changes taking effect on 11 January 2018.

Short-Term Study

There are a number of changes being made to the Short-Term Study (STS) route. These will affect anyone wishing to come to the UK to study a short course of up to six months, or an English language course of up to 11 months. Find out more here.

Part-time Study

Part-time study at post-graduate level will be allowed under Tier 4. However, Tier 4 students studying part-time courses will not have work rights, cannot bring dependants and are not able to extend their stay.


The maintenance requirements for Tier 4 (General) students who are applying to study at a residential Independent School are being aligned with the Tier 4 (Child) requirements. The additional funds for living costs no longer need to be evidenced, as these will have already been accounted for in the boarding fees paid by the student which include both course and lodging fees.

Work rights for dependants

An amendment is being made to allow work rights for dependants of Tier 4 students to be retained. This will apply if the Tier 4 applicant is applying to continue to study the same course at degree level or above.

Academic Progression

An exemption has been made to the rules on academic progression to allow students to apply for leave to remain from within the UK. This will allow students to:

• complete a work placement or a study abroad programme; or

• complete their course after having completed a work placement or study abroad programme.


Digital permissions

Find out more here.

Skilled work visas

Find out more here.


Studying in the UK FAQs 2017-2018

Find out more about studying in the UK after Brexit. The document prepared by Universities UK International can be found in the documents section below.

EU Students in the UK

Formal negotiations have now started for the UK to leave the European Union and EU students have concerns about studying in the Uk, one of the most international education sector in the world. 

  • Does the UK’s decision to leave the European Union affect students from EU member states?
  • Will students from EU member states still be able to apply for UK student loans or grants?
  • Can EU students still come to the UK on the Erasmus+ exchange programme?

We have collected answers to these questions and provide you with links on how to find more information on the Study UK Discover You website here.

Updated FAQs about studying in the UK

An updated FAQs document about studying in the UK from Universities UK International has been issued. The document is updated to reflect funding guarantees for current students and those starting up to 2018/19, as well as Erasmus+ guarantee for 2017/18 and 2018/19 intake.

Tuition Fees and loans for EU students - Statement 21 April 2017

Tuition Fees and loans for EU students - Statement 21 April 2017

The UK government has already expressed its position regarding tuition fees and access to loans to students starting in the 2017/18 academic year, and has now extended this to those who start in 2018/19. So, EU students commencing their studies in the academic year 2018/19 will: 

  • pay the same tuition fees as UK students for the duration of their course, even if the UK exits the European Union during that period
  • continue to be eligible for student loans and grants, and will be for the duration of their course, even if the UK exits the European Union during that period. 

Funding support for EU students - Announcement 11 October 2016

Funding support for EU students - Announcement 11 October 2016

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support.

The government announced on 11 October 2016 that EU students applying for a place at an English university or further education institution in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants - and will be for the duration of their course.

The decision will mean that students applying to study from 2017 to 2018 will not only be eligible for the same funding and support as they are now, but that their eligibility will continue throughout their course, even if the UK exits the European Union during that period.

The move will help give universities and colleges certainty over future funding, while assuring prospective students applying to study at one of the UK’s world leading universities that they will not have the terms of their funding changed if the UK leaves the EU during their studies. The same assurance will be available for EU students studying in further education.

Today’s announcement follows assurances given by the government in June shortly after the EU referendum result. This included immediate guarantees that students currently in higher or further education, and those applying for a place this year (2016 to 2017) would continue to be able to access student funding support - including loans and grants - under the current eligibility criteria.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said:

“We know that the result of the referendum brought with it some uncertainties for our higher education sector. That is why in June we acted quickly to provide immediate funding guarantees for existing students and those applying to study this year.

“International students make an important contribution to our world-class universities, and we want that to continue. This latest assurance that students applying to study next year will not only be eligible to apply for student funding under current terms, but will have their eligibility maintained throughout the duration of their course, will provide important stability for both universities and students.

“We are also taking steps, through our Higher Education Bill, to maintain the world status of our universities while delivering students value for money and choice and employers the skills they need to help our economy grow.”

Under current student finance rules, EU students are eligible to receive undergraduate tuition fee loans if they have resided in the European Economic Area for at least 3 years prior to study. EU nationals who have resided in the UK for over 5 years, are also able to apply for undergraduate maintenance support and master’s loans. Similarly, under EU law, EU students are also eligible for home fee status - which means they are charged the same tuition fees as UK students. Other, non-EU, international students do not have their tuition fees capped in this way.

Today’s confirmation will mean that for EU nationals, or their family members, who are applying for a place at university from August 2017 to study a course that attracts student support, the current funding rules will remain unchanged. All applicants will be eligible for student loans and/or grants under the current terms and, if deemed eligible, will be able to receive those for the duration of their course.

The migration status of EU nationals in the UK is being discussed as part of wider discussions with the EU as the government works on reaching an agreement protecting the status of EU nationals here and our citizens in Europe.

Students Loan Company (SLC) statement - 11 October 2016

Students Loan Company (SLC)

The UK’s Students Loan Company (SLC) issued a statement to reassure EU nationals currently attending English universities who are in receipt of student loans from the SLC, or who intend to begin studying from this autumn, will continue to receive these loans and grants until they finish their course.


Further information for EU students - 28 June 2016

The EU referendum result does not have any immediate implications for EU students’ immigration status, fee status and access to tuition fee loans. 

As noted by the UK Government: ‘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.’