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UK sunset landscape

 by Mark Bennett
, posted on 21 Apr '17

Brexit: EU Fee and Funding Guarantees Extended to 2018 Courses

England and Wales have confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home' fees and public funding at UK universities for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year.

This extends previous guarantees for 2017-18 and applies to all courses, including postgraduate degrees.

It means that:

  • EU students will pay the same fees as UK students for a Masters or PhD in England or Wales.
  • EU students will be able to apply for a Masters degree loan to study at English and Welsh universities.
  • EU students will be able to apply for public PhD funding, including Research Council studentships.

These guarantees have been made for courses starting in the 2017-18 or 2018-19 academic years. They will apply for the duration of your course: your fee and funding status will not change even if Brexit occurs whilst you are studying in the UK.

What about EU students in Scotland and Northern Ireland?

The individual countries of the UK set their own higher education funding policy. This means that separate guarantees for EU students must be made in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

So far England and Wales have confirmed EU student fee and funding guarantees for courses beginning in 2018-19.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have made their own guarantees for EU postgraduates starting in 2017-18. They may well decide to extend these to 2018-19. We'll update this blog as soon as more information is available.

For now, it's only confirmed that EU students will pay domestic fees and have access to English postgraduate loans or Welsh postgraduate loans for 2018-19 courses.

What about Research Council funding in other parts of the UK?

The situation is slightly different for Research Council studentships. This funding is UK-wide. As such, it is covered by the new guarantees.

EU students can receive a Research Council studentship to study a PhD at any UK university, beginning in 2017-18 or 2018-19.

What about the 2018 PhD loans?

The UK will be introducing doctoral loans of up to £25,000 in 2018. The Government has stated that EU students may be eligible for this support, but a final decision has not yet been made.

The extension of fee and funding guarantees to 2018 is encouraging though. It means that EU students will still benefit from support when the loans are introduced. This could make eligibility for the PhD loans more likely.

Will these guarantees be affected by the 2017 election?

No. These decisions have been made during the current parliament. This means they will already be confirmed before the election.

You can read more about what the 8 June general election might mean for postgraduates here.

What will happen after 2018-19?

This will depend on the UK's Brexit negotiations and the terms of any ongoing deals with the European Union.

There is reason to be optimistic though. So far the UK has extended fee and funding guarantees from 2016-17 to 2017-18 and now to 2018-19.

The UK Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, has also made the following statement on the importance of EU students to the UK:


We have been clear about our commitment to the UK’s world-class higher education sector. Through our modern industrial strategy and the additional £4.7 billion committed for research and innovation over the next 5 years, we are ensuring the UK has the skills and environment it needs to continue leading the way in academia and research.

A key part of our success is attracting talent from across the globe. This will provide reassurance to the brightest minds from across Europe to continue applying to study in the UK, safe in the knowledge financial assistance is available if needed.


We'll be keeping an eye on the ongoing Brexit process and what it means for postgraduate students from the UK, EU and elsewhere. You can stay informed by subscribing to our free newsletter.




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Masters loans - a round-up for 2017

These guarantees confirm access to postgraduate loans for EU students over the next few years. Here's what's available.




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