'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 negotiations have now started for the UK to leave the European Union.

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

The referendum result 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. Students who start courses this academic year (2018-19), or who have already started their course, have also been guaranteed their existing status.

As noted by the UK Government: ‘There will be no immediate changes following the EU Referendum, including in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU, and European citizens living here.

‘This includes those studying or working at UK universities. For students, visitors, businesses and entrepreneurs who are already in the UK or who wish to come here, there will be no immediate change to our visa policies.’

From January 2021, we don’t know exactly what the process will be. However, universities and students 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 2018-19 and 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 and EU negotiations end in an agreement you will not need a visa if you are arriving before 1 January 2021. If you arrive between 30 March 2019 and 31 December 2020, you will need to register, but you will still not need a visa. 

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

Yes. Students from the 27 European Union countries and the other five programme countries can continue to come to the UK in 2018, as the UK remains a full EU member and Erasmus+ programme country throughout the negotiation period.  

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+. The UK Government has stated publicly that the United Kingdom is committed to continuing full participation in the Erasmus+ programme until the country leaves the EU and has made clear that it values international exchanges.  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.

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