In June 2016, the British public voted to leave the European Union (EU). As of May 2019, there is still uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
How does the EU currently affect students and universities?
The ability to study abroad
The Freedom of Movement Rule in the EU makes immigration easier to other European countries. This simplifies the process of studying abroad for both UK and EU students. According to statistics found by the The Complete UK University Guide between 1987 and 2013 over 200,000 UK students had studied at European universities in the Erasmus Scheme.
EU citizens can usually study in EU nations as 'home students'. Fees for international students are usually much higher than for home students. In the UK, students pay £9,000 per year in tuition fees and international students pay between £15,000-£25,000 per year on the same course. Home status typically saves an EU student £18,000-£48,000 over the course of a three year undergraduate degree.
EU staff and funding
There are a large number of academic EU staff at UK universities. An example found by The Complete UK University Guide nearly ¼ of the staff at the University of Kent are from non-British EU countries.
The EU also gives UK universities a significant amount of money every year. At Swansea University for example a new Science and Innovation campus was recently opened which cost £475 million and would not have been possible without the financial support of the EU.
What do we know?
Theresa May triggered Article 50 on 29th March 2017 and there is still uncertainty as to what will happen next.
Confirmed outcomes so far:
Jo Johnson, former Minister of State for Universities and Science, confirmed that EU nationals who currently receive student loans will continue to receive funding until they finish their course
No immediate changes to the UK university involvement in EU initiatives such as: Horizon 2020 and the Erasmus Programme. Regarding Erasmus, both incoming and outgoing students on the scheme will continue with their exchanges as planned.