EU Students will not be able to apply for student finance in England. The new update will apply from the 2021-22 academic year, confirmed the UK Government.
In a formal statement, universities minister Michelle Donelan said that EU and Swiss students will no longer be eligible for student finance. Consequently, those who want to commence their studies in the UK next year will lose their home fee status. The new regulation will apply from August 2021, following Brexit. This will affect not only Undergraduate but also Postgraduate and Advanced learners, that now rely on student finance in order to study in the UK.
The announcement has been seen as bad news inside universities.
Until now, EU students have benefited from lower fees and access to student loans that are subsidised by UK taxpayers. Higher fees and no more access to student finance could risk a decline of about 60 % of EU students coming to study in England. If that happens, the UK universities will be less diverse and less open to influences from other countries.
However, overseas students, from the EU and beyond, should be able to study in the UK with minimal barriers, said Michelle Donelan.
EU students starting courses before August 2021 will continue to pay home fees for the duration of their course.
It is important to note that EU students starting courses in the academic year 2020/21 or before, still can apply for student finance. They will continue to pay home fees for the duration of their course. Something more, they will be eligible for the UK’s EU settlement scheme. According to UUK, if they arrive before the end of this year, they can apply for home status.
The change would not affect Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland. Their right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis. British and Irish nationals will remain under the Common Travel Area arrangement.
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