What does Brexit mean for students and universities?

What does Brexit mean for students and universities?

For all the debate and intense feeling on either side of the vote, it’s important to remember that Britain has not yet left the EU. Brexit is still some way off and leaving is by no means an overnight process.

In practical terms, that means that student loans and EU tuition fees will continue as they did before the referendum. EU students will also have access to the new postgraduate loans for masters students being introduced for the 2016/17 academic year.

UK universities will lobby to continue their joint research partnerships with EU institutions and will continue to welcome EU and international students and staff who make such a valuable contribution to UK universities.

Organisations that represent universities have all stressed the importance of negotiating the best possible outcomes for universities and students in the UK. They have also emphasised the crucial importance both of university research and teaching and of intellectual collaboration.

The Russell Group on continued collaboration

‘The UK has not yet left the EU so it is important that our staff and students from other member countries understand that there will be no immediate impact on their status at our universities. However, we will be seeking assurances from the Government that staff and students currently working and studying at our universities can continue to do so after the UK negotiates leaving the EU.

‘The free movement of talent, the networks, collaborations, critical mass of research activity and funding from EU membership have played a crucial part in the success of Russell Group universities. We will be working closely with the Government to secure the best deal for universities from the negotiations to come so that we can continue to form productive collaborations across Europe.’
Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group

Universities UK on ensuring that the UK remains a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds

'Our first priority will be to convince the UK government to take steps to ensure that staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities in the long term, and to promote the UK as a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds. They make a powerful contribution to university research and teaching and have a positive impact on the British economy and society. We will also prioritise securing opportunities for our researchers and students to access vital pan-European programmes and build new global networks.’
Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of Universities UK

Britain is part of Europe and will always be

‘I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe, and always will be. There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment. EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU.’
Pro-leave campaigner and MP Boris Johnson writing in The Daily Telegraph

Minister of State for Universities and Science on higher education and research following the EU referendum

'EU and international students make an important contribution to our world-class universities, and our European neighbours are among some of our closest research partners.

'There are obviously big discussions to be had with our European partners, and I look forward to working with the sector to ensure its voice is fully represented and that it continues to go from strength to strength.'

On Student England Finance for EU students

'EU students who are eligible under current rules to receive loans and grants from the Student Loans Company will continue to do so for courses they are currently enrolled on or about to start this coming year. Masters loans launched today are also still available to eligible EU students. EU students will continue to receive funding for the duration of their courses.'

On Erasmus+

'The referendum result does not affect students studying in the EU, beneficiaries of Erasmus+ or those considering applying in 2017. The UK’s future access to the Erasmus+ programme will be determined as a part of wider discussions with the EU.

'More broadly, existing UK students studying in the EU, and those looking to start in the next academic year, will continue to be subject to current arrangements.'

On Horizon 2020 research funding

'The referendum result has no immediate effect on those applying to or participating in Horizon 2020. UK participants can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way. The future of UK access to European science funding will be a matter for future discussions. Government is determined to ensure that the UK continues to play a leading role in European and international research.'
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Jo Johnson MP, minister of state for universities and science