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EU flag over Union Jack

 by Mark Bennett
, posted on 15 Dec '17

Brexit and Postgraduate Study - What Students Need to Know

Brexit means Brexit, but what does Brexit mean for students? The short answer is: not a lot so far. You can still study abroad in the UK or EU next year, you can still take part in Erasmus and, in most cases, your fees, funding and visa requirements won't change. . . yet.

Got a more specific question about Brexit and postgraduate study? Not a problem. That's what this FAQ is for.

Brexit - what's actually happening?

The Brexit process is long and (unsurprisingly) complicated. Here are the key points so far:

  • 26 June 2016 - The UK holds a referendum and narrowly votes to leave the EU.
  • 29 March 2017 - The Government triggers Article 50, beginning a two-year negotiating period between the UK and EU.
  • 8 December 2017 - The first phase of negotiations end, with important guarantees made on the rights of UK and EU citizens living abroad.

The UK is set to leave the EU on the 29th March 2019.

Can EU students study abroad in the UK in 2018?

Yes. EU students can start a Masters, PhD or other course in the UK as normal in the 2018-19 academic year. You won't need a student visa to do so and you'll pay the same fees as a UK student.

Will EU students have access to postgraduate loans in 2018?

You'll still be able to apply for one of the UK's existing postgraduate loans (for courses at Masters-level). EU eligibility for the upcoming PhD loans isn't confirmed, but we'll tell you as soon as we know more.

Will EU students still be eligible for Research Council funding?

Yes. EU students can still apply for a Research Council studentship for a UK PhD beginning in 2018-19. However, in most cases you'll still be restricted to a fees-only award.

What if Brexit happens during my course?

Fee and funding guarantees apply for the duration of your degree programme.

Provided you begin your course by the end of the 2018-19 academic year you will pay the same fees and be eligible for the same funding throughout your Masters or PhD.

This applies even if the UK leaves the EU whilst you are studying.

Can EU students still study part time?

Yes. You won't need a student visa as an EU postgraduate next year. This means there will be no overall restrictions on your mode of study, or the duration of your degree.

Can EU citizens remain in the UK after Brexit?

In most cases, yes. The UK and EU have agreed that citizens living abroad prior to 29 March 2019 date will retain their rights to do so after Brexit. EU citizens in the UK will be able to apply for 'settled status' after they have been living in the country for five years.

However, it's not completely clear how these rulings will apply to students who have only been in the UK to study. We'd recommend you check details carefully before making long-term plans. Further information is available on the UK Government website.

Will UK students still be able to study in the EU in 2018?

Yes. The UK will continue to be an EU member until 29 March 2019.

During this time you'll still be able to study abroad in the EU without a visa and should benefit from existing fee and funding arrangements.

Of course, specific guidelines may vary across countries so ensure you check with your university. Our guides to Masters and PhD study in Europe are a good place to start.

What will happen to Erasmus funding?

The UK will continue to be involved in Erasmus until at least 2020, when the current Erasmus+ funding phase ends.

This means that UK and EU students will be able to study Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degrees, apply for an Erasmus+ Masters Loan or receive PhD funding through Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions in 2018-19.

It's possible that the UK will continue to be involved in future phases of Erasmus, but this isn't confirmed yet.

You may also like...

What you need to know about studying abroad

Considering a Masters abroad in the UK, EU or elsewhere? We've put together a few useful tips, based on one student's experiences.

Brexit - fee and funding guarantees for 2018-19

Looking for more information on EU fees and funding next year? We've covered the guarantees in detail here.

Postgraduate loans - updates for 2018

The value of English postgraduate loans is rising to £10,609 in 2018. Our blog has the details.

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