Students having fun on campus

'EU and international students make an important contribution to our world-class universities, and our European neighbours are among some of our closest research partners' - Jo Johnson, former Minister of State for Universities and Science

The UK education sector is one of the most international in the world. Students and staff from the EU and beyond are extremely welcome. They make an enormous contribution to the UK and the success of its education institutions. 

Formal discussions are continuing around the UK's departure from the European Union.

Does the UK’s decision to leave the European Union affect students from EU member states?

The UK's decision to leave the EU does not have any immediate implications for the status of EU students in the UK. 

EU students applying for a place at a university or further education institution in England, Wales or Northern Ireland in the 2019-20 academic year will continue to be eligible for ‘home fee status’, which means they will be charged the same tuition fees as UK students for the duration of their studies. Students who have already started their course, have also been guaranteed their existing status for the duration of their studies.

From January 2021, we don’t know exactly what the process will be. However, the UK government and universities in the UK are working to keep the system as simple as possible.

Will students from EU member states still be able to apply for UK student loans or grants?

Current university students from the EU and those applying to courses starting in 2019-20 will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

This has also been confirmed in separate statements from across all UK nations (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

Will students from EU member states need a visa to study in the UK?

As long as the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement in place, you will not need a visa if you are arriving before 1 January 2021. 

  • Students from EU countries (or EEA or Switzerland) will not need a visa if they arrive before 1 January 2021
  • If you plan to stay beyond 31 December 2020 (for example, because of the length of your course), you’ll need to apply online for the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme opened on 30 March 2019.

If the UK were to leave the EU without a withdrawal deal, the UK Government would introduce immigration rules for EU citizens and their immediate family members. This is called European Temporary Leave to Remain. These rules cover EU students who arrive in the UK after the UK leaves the EU. They would only apply if the UK left the EU without a deal

Under these no-deal rules:

  • After three months, you’d need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain, a simple online process for a small fee, which would allow you to remain in the UK for 36 months.
  • The UK Government is still to define details of future visa regulations, which would apply to students who want to stay longer – for example, to complete a four-year course. 

Can EU students still come to the UK on the Erasmus+ exchange programme?

Students from the 27 European Union and the other five programme countries can continue to come to the UK throughout the negotiation period until the date of exit.  

In principle, students from the 27 European Union countries and the other five programme countries can continue to come to the UK until 2020 as part of Erasmus+. UK participation in Erasmus+ beyond 2020 and after the UK leaves the European Union is a matter for the negotiations. 

The British Council, the Erasmus+ UK National Agency (British Council and Ecorys UK) and Universities UK are strongly supportive of continued and full UK participation in Erasmus+ after the UK leaves the European Union, so that UK and EU students can continue to benefit from Erasmus+ opportunities over the longer term.

For the most up-to-date information on Erasmus+, go to the UK National Agency website.

Where can I find more detailed information?

We will continue to update this page regularly. Please see below for additional official sources of information about UK higher education

Further information

Student finance

For more information about EU nationals and student finance in the UK, please visit the following websites for each country to read their statement and check for any relevant updates.

England - Student Loans Company

Scotland - Universities Scotland

Wales - Universities Wales

Northern Ireland - NI Direct

Staying up to date

  • The UK Government official information for EU citizens in the UK is regularly updated on the Government website, GOV.UK
  • Follow latest news for university students on Twitter @studyUKBritish 
  • Follow Erasmus news on Twitter @EUErasmusPlus or subscribe to the Erasmus+ Newsletter