EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status or financial support from Student Finance England, once the UK formally leaves the EU on 31 December 2020.
The announcement from the UK Government confirms that these changes will come into effect with the 2021/22 academic year.
International students commencing their studies in the 2020/2021 academic year and current students remain eligible for financial support – and will be able to begin their study via distance or blended learning due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Students on Tier 4 visas will also be eligible for post-study work rights via the Graduate Route.
Anne Marie Graham, CEO of UKCISA, commented: “From 1 January, the new UK immigration system will lead to many changes for EU/EEA nationals wishing to live, study and work in the UK. UKCISA provides critical, timely advice to students and their sponsoring institutions to navigate this rapidly evolving landscape and we will work tirelessly to mitigate the impact of these changes.
“What remains permanent is our openness to EU/EEA nationals in UK education. We continue to welcome you to the UK”.
Roxanne Béchu, Chair of UKCISA Student Advisory Group, said: "I got my offer from University of Sheffield just after the Brexit referendum result, and I was worried about coming to the UK as a French student. But I soon realised that everyone here was still welcoming and friendly, and Brexit doesn’t mean an end to student mobility and friendships.
"I have found the UK a remarkable place to live and study, and I will always cherish the memories and bonds I made in the past four years. I want as many European students as possible to share this great experience".
Daniel Haid, We Are International Student Ambassador, added: “This policy change is at risk of affecting a large EU audience which has become accustomed to convenient, inexpensive, and visa-free traveling and studying abroad. We need the government to support and enable our institutions to continue providing an excellent and welcoming environment for all international students.
"I’m glad that UKCISA continues to work with EU students like myself through the #WeAreInternational campaign, sending a sound and clear message to all international students and make them feel welcome here”.
UKCISA – along with sector partners UUK International and BUILA – called on the UK Government to provide clarity on these critical issues for international students in light of the global Covid-19 crisis.
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UKCISA is committed to advocating for international students and the role they play in our global community.
For expert advice and guidance on Covid-19 for international students, visit the UKCISA website