Students from the European Union starting university and college courses in England next year will still be eligible for Government backed loans to cover tuition fees until they graduate, it has been confirmed.

With a lot of certainty still existing over the impact of Brexit on students, the Department of Education has confirmed that the maximum tuition fees will be frozen for a second year in a row and financial support will continue.

The move has been welcomed by universities as it means that students from EU countries can now apply for courses for the 2019/2020 academic year knowing that they will not have to pay their fees upfront.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said that EU students make an important contribution to institutions in Britain yet have been facing a lot of uncertainty due to Brexit.

‘This announcement means that EU students commencing courses in autumn 2019 will continue to pay the same tuition fees as UK students for the full duration of their courses,’ he added.

There are currently 134,835 students from other EU countries in the UK and demand has remained strong in recent years.

The UCAS search tool for 2019 entry to universities is now live and students from the EU can begin preparing their applications knowing that their funding status has been clarified until the end of their courses.
New research from Universities UK reveals that more than half of the UK’s international students are new entrants, meaning that they are in their first year of study in the UK, this is higher than the 32% and 36% in the United States and Germany.

It points out that the UK higher education system is more vulnerable to changes in global demand and the external environment, and particularly from Brexit uncertainty.

The UK is keen to make sure that exchange programmes such as Erasmus+ continue after Brexit. It is hoped that they can be based on the youth mobility schemes which already exist with countries outside the EU such as Australia and Canada.

Details of how passport and potentially even visa arrangements would work have still not been clarified.