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UK confirms funding and fees for EU commencements in 2018

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Building on a similar decision for 2017/18 commencements, the British government has announced that EU students beginning their studies in 2018/19 will continue to charged the same tuition fees as UK students, and will also remain eligible for financial aid, for the duration of their studies
  • The news comes on the heels of the latest admissions data for British higher education, which indicates a 6% decline in applications from EU students for 2017

The British government has confirmed that European Union students commencing studies in the UK in the 2018/19 academic year will remain eligible for financial support.

In essence, the announcement preserves the current terms under which EU students are enrolled today, in terms of financial aid and tuition status, and it means that students beginning programmes in 2018/19 will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants throughout the duration of their studies, even if the UK exits the European Union during that period. Similarly, EU students commencing in 2018/19 will also remain eligible for “home fee status”, meaning they are charged the same tuition fees as domestic students in the UK.

“We have been clear about our commitment to the UK’s world-class higher education sector, said Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson. “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.”

Universities UK indicates there are roughly 125,000 EU students enrolled in the UK currently, representing about 5.5% of total higher education enrolment in the country. This also represents about 30% of all foreign enrolment in the UK as of 2015/16.

The government’s decision to extend provisions for home fee status and financial aid through commencements for 2018/19 follows a similar 11 October 2016 announcement for students beginning their studies in 2017/18. Both moves are clearly aimed at reducing the uncertainty for EU students and scholars surrounding the Brexit process.

“We welcome this announcement, which provides much needed clarity for EU students applying to start courses at English universities in the 2018/19 academic year,” said Universities UK Deputy Chief Executive Alistair Jarvis.

“Students from EU countries can now apply for places on undergraduate courses starting in autumn 2018 with the confidence that they will not have to pay up-front tuition fees and will remain eligible to receive government-backed loans to cover their tuition fee for the duration of their courses. It is now vital that this announcement is communicated effectively to prospective students across Europe. The UK should be an attractive destination for all qualified international students that would benefit from UK universities and can support themselves to study.”

Mr Jarvis added,” Moving forward, we need to see a new post-Brexit immigration policy that encourages all international students to choose to study in the UK coupled with welcoming messages from Government, recognising their hugely positive social and economic impact on the UK.”

The importance of establishing greater certainty for EU students is reflected both in the significant proportion of students from other EU states within the foreign enrolment in British higher education institutions. It is also underscored by the most recent statistical reports from UCAS indicating that EU applications for 2017/18 have declined by 6% compared to the year before.

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