Due to Brexit, European Union students wishing to enter a British university will have to pay tuition fees multiplied by three.
The end of the post-Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020 will see the emergence of new rules for French and European students looking to enroll in UK universities next year. For those who are going to enter the UK from January 1, 2021, a student visa of 390 euros will be required in particular. And from the next academic year, in August 2021, students from the European Union will have to pay increased fees (about 30,000 pounds per year instead of 10,000) to study in the United Kingdom, as announced by the British government on 23 June.
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■ What is the current situation?
For Europe’s 150,000 students, nothing changes during the transition period, during which the UK and the European Union try to agree on their future relationship. Currently, EU students pay the same tuition fees as their UK counterparts, which vary by university but also by region, as the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolved governments are responsible for education, the British government is for England. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, students can pay up to GBP 9,250 (EUR 10,250) per year at undergraduate level. In Scotland it’s free.
■ What will happen on January 1, 2021?
All EU citizens must apply for resident status, which gives them the right to remain on British soil when new immigration laws come into force. Students who start their course during the 2020/2021 academic year and arrive in the UK before December 31, 2020 will benefit from the status that allows them to pay the same tuition fees as British students.
New students arriving after this date will need to obtain a student visa costing £350 (€390) if they study for more than six months in the UK. They will also have to pay around £500 a year to benefit from the public health service, the NHS.
What will happen next school year?
Across the UK, students starting their course after 1 August 2021 will have to pay higher fees and will not be eligible for student loans. According to the specialized magazine Times Higher Education Magazine, the price of a year of graduation for an international student in 2020 was between 10,000 and 26,000 GBP per year (i.e. between 10,960 and 28,495 euros). But it all depends on the courses and especially the establishments. So at Oxford, international students must pay between £26,770 and £37,510 per year. Furthermore, they will no longer be eligible for the UK student loan system. A government-backed system that allows tuition fees to be reimbursed only after obtaining the first job.
■ What is yet to be determined?
It remains for London and Brussels to reach an agreement on their future relationship. It is unclear whether the UK will continue to participate in EU programs such as Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe beyond the academic year. The UK government has established recommendations for EU students to apply for visas.
But uncertainty remains as to whether students who have already obtained residency status will be able to pay the same tuition fees as before for courses starting in 2021-2022. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the migration of courses to the internet, many students have been taking them without being in the UK. If they don’t go to British soil this year, it is doubtful whether they will be able to obtain pre-resident status.