Funding Support for EU Students
The Government has announced today (11 October) that EU students applying for a place at an English university or higher education institution in the 2017 to 18 academic year will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants – and will be for the duration of their course.
The decision means that students applying to study from 2017 to 18 will be eligible for the same funding and support as they are now, which will continue throughout their course, even if the UK exits the European Union during that period.
This announcement provides much needed clarity for EU students applying to start courses at English universities in autumn 2017. Over recent weeks the university sector has made very clear to Government the urgent need to address this issue. It is good to see the Government has recognised the value of EU students and acted positively to guarantee their access to financial support.
Students from other EU countries can now apply for places on undergraduate courses starting in autumn 2017 with the certainty that they will not have to pay up-front tuition fees and now have a guarantee that they will receive Government-backed loans to cover their tuition fee for the duration of their courses. This announcement also guarantees that EU students commencing courses in autumn 2017 will continue to pay the same tuition fees as UK students for the duration of their courses, even after the point the UK exits the EU.
European and international students are a valuable part of cultural and academic life on British university campuses and play an important role in UK towns and cities, creating jobs and supporting local businesses. Looking ahead, as the Government develops plans post-Brexit Britain, a commitment is needed to ensure that students, from Europe and beyond, are able to continue to come to the UK to study without unnecessary bureaucratic burdens. The UK should be an attractive destination for all qualified international students that would benefit from UK universities and can support themselves to study. Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK
Under current student finance rules, EU students are eligible to receive undergraduate tuition fee loans if they have resided in the European Economic Area for at least three years prior to study. EU nationals who have resided in the UK for over five years are also able to apply for undergraduate maintenance support and master’s loans. Similarly, under EU law, EU students are also eligible for home fee status – which means they are charged the same tuition fees as UK students. Other, non-EU, international students do not have their tuition fees capped in this way.
Today’s confirmation will mean that for EU nationals, or their family members, who are applying for a place at university from August 2017 to study a course that attracts student support, the current funding rules will remain unchanged. All applicants will be eligible for student loans and/or grants under the current terms and, if deemed eligible, will be able to receive those for the duration of their course.
The migration status of EU nationals in the UK is being discussed as part of wider discussions with the EU as the government works on reaching an agreement protecting the status of EU nationals here and our citizens in Europe.
11 October 2016