The Government has today (21 April 2017) announced that EU students will remain eligible for undergraduate, master’s, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in the academic year 2018 to 2019.
EU citizens will also remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for 2018 to 2019 to help cover costs for the duration of their study.
Britain in Europe welcomes the announcement, and encourages the Government to continue to seek avenues to secure EU students' access to the higher education system in the UK.
EU students are an integral part of UK Universities, adding to the diversity and vitality of our courses. The Government should spare no effort in ensuring that there is a smooth transition to the post Brexit era in UK higher education, and that EU students continue to play a central role in enhancing the educational experience and contributing to world-leading research in UK universities.
The Government must also urgently reassure citizens from the EU-27 who are already in the UK that they will retain full rights to access UK higher education as 'home students' even after the UK has left the EU. Today's announcement about funding for EU students makes a passing reference to EU citizens' rights, noting that these are 'being discussed as part of wider discussions with the EU' and that 'the Prime Minister was clear in her letter to the President of the European Council that that we should seek an early agreement on the rights of UK nationals in the EU and EU nationals in the UK, on a reciprocal basis'.
Britain in Europe reiterates here that it is unacceptable to treat EU citizens as 'bargaining chips', and that this also applies to the issue of access to higher education for citizens from the EU-27 who are already resident in the UK.
For press inquiries, email BiE@brunel.ac.uk
For comprehensive analysis on the Brexit challenges ahead for higher education see our policy report on Brexit: Opportunities, Challenges and the Road Ahead (BiE, October 2016): Andrew George, 'Brexit and Higher Education', at p. 36.