UK Universities are already struggling from the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, according to an analysis prepared for the Department of Education, the temporary drop in students from overseas as a result of the travel restrictions and border closures is predicted to be heavily overshadowed by the fall in students following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Universities are predicted to lose an estimated £62.5 million per year as a result of Brexit, and the number of European Union students studying at UK universities is forecasted to drop by more than half. In addition to the losses for Universities, the big question also remains of how will UK students be affected?

Firstly, the perceptions and expectations of the UK as a study destination from students have been heavily impacted. In a recent study by StudyPortals, in 2019 3 out of 5 students in the EEA found the UK less appealing because of Brexit, however, in 2021 this number crept up to 4 out of 5 students.

With Brexit now in full effect, it is difficult to determine how Brexit will impact Universities and UK students and if the perceptions stated above will be valid. One thing is for certain, however, and that is that the UK still offers a warm welcome to European and international students. If you are looking to become a UK student, continue reading below to find out more about the important impacts and changes.

What has the EU Traditionally meant for UK Students?

The EU’s freedom of movement rules enabled easier immigration for both EU and UK students alike. The Erasmus+ meant that students across the EU were able to be a part of a student exchange program that enhanced international students’ skills, job prospects, and experience. Since the inception of this program, over four million students have taken part.

Cheaper Fees

EU national residents are usually able to study in other EU nations as ‘home students’. In comparison with fees that would usually be charged to international students, these are much lower or non-existent. The average UK university charges £9,250 a year and by being given ‘home status’ saved an average EU student anything from £2,850- £64,000 through the duration of a three-year undergraduate degree.

What will change for UK Students after Brexit?

The Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020 and the UK has officially left the EU. Despite a huge level of uncertainty in outcomes, a few things have been confirmed.

EU settlement scheme

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen looking to study in the UK, it is important to apply for the EU Settlement scheme before 30 June 2021. This means that you can be granted pre-settled status if you’ve not lived in the UK for the previous five years. This also means that as a UK student, you will continue to get access to the NHS, education, free movement in and out of the UK and will also be permitted to work in the UK for five years after.

Fees and financial support

It is likely that Brexit will have an effect on tuition fees in the United Kingdom, however, what kind of effect is difficult to predict. England, Wales, and Scotland have confirmed that if students began a course from the 2021-22 academic year, they will however no longer qualify for ‘home fee’ status or financial support from the UK.

If you apply for the EU Settlement scheme mentioned above, you will qualify for the home fee status and can benefit from a tuition fee loan.

Visas and requirements

If your course is longer than six months and you have arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020 you will be required to get a visa. This will not apply to those that are part of the EU Settlement Scheme mentioned above.

What should you do if you want to study in the UK?

Some of the top universities in the UK which are part of The Russell Group have commented on Brexit, saying that they’ll work closely with the Government and ensure that they have the best possible outcome post-Brexit. If you plan on enrolling as a UK student in the coming years, it is a good idea to check the University’s official website and find out more about their position on Brexit. If you are already enrolled and looking to secure accommodation in the UK and want to know more on how having a rent guarantor may be beneficial with the impacts of Brexit, the Housing Hand team are here to help answer all of your questions. Get in touch here.