What will Brexit mean for EU students?Dr Shafiq
Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, has been a topic of great discussion since the referendum in 2016. Brexit is expected to have far-reaching effects on various aspects of life, including immigration, trade, and education. This article will focus on the impact of Brexit on EU students studying in the UK, analyzing the current situation, future changes, challenges, and opportunities for EU students.
The Current Situation for EU Students in the UK
EU students have long been a significant part of the UK’s higher education system, accounting for around 6% of all students enrolled in universities in the UK. Until the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020, EU students enjoyed the same benefits as home students in the UK, including access to student loans and grants and paying the same tuition fees as UK students.
However, the situation has changed since the end of the transition period. EU students are no longer eligible for home fee status and are now classified as international students. This means they will be subject to higher tuition fees ranging from £10,000 to £30,000 per year, depending on the course and university.
Moreover, EU students will no longer be eligible for student loans or grants from the UK government. Instead, they must rely on funding from their home country, scholarships from UK universities, or private funding sources. This change is expected to significantly impact the number of EU students studying in the UK, as many may not be able to afford the higher tuition fees without financial support.
The Future Changes for EU Students
Brexit has brought about significant changes in the policies for EU students studying in the UK. In addition to being classified as international students, EU students will face new visa and work regulations. From January 2021, EU students must apply for a student visa to study in the UK, which involves meeting specific requirements, such as providing evidence of funds, accommodation, and academic qualifications. The visa application process may deter some EU students, and the additional costs associated with the process may further reduce the number of EU students studying in the UK.
Furthermore, the work regulations for EU students have also changed. While EU students were previously allowed to work in the UK without restrictions, they will now be subject to the same visa restrictions as non-EU students. EU students will be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacation. However, after completing their studies, they must obtain a work visa to work in the UK.
Challenges and Opportunities for EU Students
Brexit has created several challenges for EU students studying in the UK. The higher tuition fees and lack of access to student loans and grants may make it difficult for some EU students to afford to study in the UK. The additional visa and work regulations may also make it more challenging for EU students to pursue their studies and work in the UK.
However, Brexit has also created some opportunities for EU students in the UK. UK universities are offering more scholarships and bursaries to attract EU students, and there may be opportunities for EU students to access funding from their home countries or private sources. The UK government has also introduced a new graduate route visa, which allows international students, including EU students, to stay and work in the UK for up to two years after completing their studies. This visa may allow EU students to gain valuable work experience in the UK after completing their studies.
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- September Intake in the UK
Strategies for EU Students to Cope with Brexit Changes
EU students studying in the UK can take several steps to cope with the changes brought about by Brexit. Firstly, they should research their funding options, apply for scholarships and bursaries from UK universities, or seek funding from their home country or private sources. Secondly, EU students should ensure they meet the requirements for obtaining a student visa and apply for it promptly to avoid delays or complications.
Thirdly, EU students should consider working part-time during their studies to support themselves financially. While the new regulations limit the number of hours EU students can work, part-time work can provide valuable work experience and help offset the cost of living expenses in the UK.
Lastly, EU students should explore the opportunities provided by the new graduate route visa to gain work experience in the UK after completing their studies. This can help improve their job prospects and add value to their resume.
Brexit has brought about significant changes for EU students studying in the UK. The loss of home fee status, student loans, and grants, coupled with new visa and work regulations, has created several challenges for EU students. However, there are also opportunities for EU students, including scholarships and bursaries and the new graduate route visa. EU students studying in the UK can cope with these changes by exploring funding options, meeting visa requirements, working part-time, and taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the graduate route visa. As the UK continues negotiating its future relationship with the EU, EU students must stay informed and adapt to the changing policies and regulations.