Brexit And The Changes In Student Finance England

Significant changes are enforced by Student Finance England and the Universities, as an impact of the UK leaving the EU union on 31 December 2020, following a transition period. The consequences of the UK leaving the European Union, its nearest and best trading partner, is bound to have a huge effect, especially in the education industry. 

As we believe that everyone has the right to education and strive for diversity and inclusivity of students in universities, we are committed to creating awareness among our student community on the impact of Brexit on the Education Industry.

According to an estimation from the Department of Education, UK could lose 57 percent of EU students because of Brexit. Traditionally the European Union has helped a vast number of students to study abroad with ease. The EU’s freedom of movement rule enabled easier immigration to other European countries, simplifying the process of studying abroad for both UK and EU students alike. Between 1987 and 2013, over 200,000 UK students studied at European universities through the Erasmus program, and the number of EU students in the UK was above 140,000 in 2018/2019.

The EU further helped residents of EU nations to study in other EU countries as “Home Students”, which enabled them to enjoy the benefits that a home student would have access to. Compared to the fees charged to International Students, home fees are relatively lower. In the UK, international students pay, on average, £15,500 for undergraduate studies, though sometimes the fees can be as much as £58,000 per year for some courses, whereas the tuition per year for a Home Student is £9,250. This home status helped an EU student studying in the UK save on average £2,850–£64,000 throughout a three-year undergraduate degree.

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens – including family members – who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible (and no later than 30 June 2021). Applicants will be granted either a settled or pre-settled status, which would give them access to education, free access to the NHS, free movement in and out of the UK, and permission to work in the UK. Irish nationals won’t need to apply for settled status.

England, Scotland, and Wales have confirmed that students from Europe who begin a course from the 2021–22 academic year will no longer have home fee status nor access to the UK’s financial support. Unless they are registered under the EU Settlement Scheme and fulfill the required eligibility criteria. British nationals (or their children) living in the EEA or Switzerland may be eligible for home fee status and student finance in the UK until 1 January 2028 if they meet various residency criteria.

Furthermore, the UK has implemented a new student route visa on a points-based system. EU students (who do not have a settlement status) arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 will need visas if they are on a course longer than six months. As well as being offered a place on a course, students will need to meet English language requirements. 

Students may need to prove they have enough money to support themselves and pay for their course, although it is not necessarily required of students from certain countries including the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. Hereafter, all EU students who do not have settled status will be considered as International Students in the UK.

Having been in the industry for a decade, we understand that adhering to the new changes could be challenging. Contact our team of experts on 020 3915 8318 to help you choose the best path for you.


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