The United Kingdom exited the European Union (EU), and its transition period ended on December 31, 2020. However, the UK’s exit has left students from the EU wondering how the country’s exit will affect them. If you are a student from the EU with the same question, you will find your answer here but first, let’s inform you about the timeline events that brought us here.
Timeline of Events
To quickly catch you up on UK’s decision to leave the EU, look at the timeline of events:
- June 26, 2017: The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union despite the polls predicting the opposite. Prime Minister David Cameron resigns the next day.
- July 13, 2016: Theresa May becomes the appointed as UK’s Prime Minister by default. She announced a “hard Brexit” plan to get the UK out of the EU.
- March 29, 2017: The countdown starts with the UK fully exiting the EU in two years.
- April 12, 2019: UK’s Prime Minister extends the timeline for leaving the EU until October 31 due to several failed attempts.
- June 7, 2019: May resigns from her post as Prime Minister after failing three times to get Parliament to sign off on the withdrawal agreement.
- July 24, 2019: Boris Johnson steps in as the new Prime Minister and extends the deadline once more. He also calls for a general election to be held to bypass the Parliament.
- December 12, 2019: In the general election, Boris comes out as the winner, winning the vote of the conservative majority and ensuring that he can pass the withdrawal agreement.
- July 31, 2020: Finally, the UK manages to successfully leave the EU after more than three years of negotiations and gridlock.
After the events, the UK government announced what will happen to the EU currently studying in the UK and those wishing to come to study in the UK.
The UK Government’s Announcement
The UK Government has announced that EU students starting university in the year 2020 to 2021 will have home fee status. They will pay their fees at the home rate for the remainder of the programme. This also applies to students currently studying at a UK university.
However, EU students will not have home fee status or access to financial support in the UK from the year 2021 to 2022. At the end of 2020, the UK government plans to introduce a new immigration scheme outlining student mobility of students from the EU.
Who Does This Not Apply To?
This doesn’t apply to Irish national residing in the United Kingdom or Ireland. The United Kingdom made this announcement on June 23, 2020. The Scottish Government followed suit, announcing on July 9, 2020, that they might develop a scholarship programme for students from the EU. The Welsh Government announced its decision on August 10, 2020.
The New Immigration Scheme for EU Students
Although the UK government has not revealed the details of the new immigration scheme for EU students, it’s assumed that the current UK government may require EU students and travellers to enter the UK with a passport.
Before, EU students and travellers could enter the UK without needing an ID card. EU students enrolled in a UK university will also need to keep themselves informed on the latest changes taking place in the UK that can affect their status in the country.
Guidance for EU Students Already in the UK
EU students residing in the UK since December 31, 2020, can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. They will receive either a pre-settled or settled status depending on how many years they have lived in the UK. This period could be less than five years or more than five years.
EU students who have obtained a pre-settled status can stay, work, and study in the UK and can apply for the settled status if they live in the UK continuously for five years. If you are an EU student currently enrolled in a UK university, you need to file for either settled status or a pre-settled status by June 20, 2021.UK leaving the EU will also affect the health insurance of EU students.
EU students coming to the United Kingdom after January 1, 2021, will need to give an Immigration Health Surcharge. Postgraduate students bringing their family, which includes spouse, partner, and/or kids under the age of 18, will need to give an Immigration Health Surcharge for every dependent arriving in the UK from an EU country. EU students living in the United Kingdom before December 31, 2020, need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if they want to continue having access to the NHS.
EU countries have also released new guidelines for UK students coming to an EU country to study regarding the validity of their Health Insurance Card. The European Health Insurance Cards for UK students will only be valid until December 31, 2020. If any UK national wishes to travel through Europe, they will need to get travel insurance covering healthcare.
UK exiting the EU has also brought changes to the two massively popular programmes that send EU students to study in the UK.
The Erasmus+ Programme and the Horizon 2020 Programme
The Erasmus+ Programme will continue to progress as usual through 2020 because the UK government has not stopped donating funds to the EU. As of right now, the UK government has chosen to remain silent on whether they plan to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme from 2021.
Despite UK’s withdrawal agreement from the Erasmus+ Programme, its representative says that other countries that are still a member of the Erasmus+ Programme can send their students to the UK. However, they can send them to the UK until the funds’ finish or projects end.
Future participation of the UK in the upcoming Erasmus+ Programme depends on the result of the negotiations on the future collaboration between the two bodies.
Horizon 2020 Programme
The Horizon 2020 Programme is a collaborative research programme developed by the EU. According to UK universities, researchers based in the UK can bid for and partake in every Horizon 2020 calls issued by December 31, 2020, with their grants covered in full through the EU budget for the remainder of their project.
Universities in the UK can continue to bid for the Erasmus+ Programme until the end of 2020. EU students and staff can complete their mobility period and obtain funding through the Erasmus+ Programme to complete their full-length research project.
Are You from the EU Who Wants to Study in the UK?
If you are from the EU and you want to study in the UK, you need to familiarise yourself with the new rules and regulations that apply to you. If you are currently studying in the UK, you need to keep yourself informed on all the recent changes to your status in the UK.
If you need help applying to a UK university and you are an EU student, you can reach out to us, and we will answer all your questions and concerns. We can also help you apply to the university of your choice in the United Kingdom.