On 24th June 2016, the result of a referendum in the UK as to whether it should remain part of the European Union was declared. The decision was that the UK should leave the EU.
Once the UK triggered Article 50, this started a minimum 2-year exit period from the EU. In fact, however, it has actually taken more than 3 years so far to decide on the initial Withdrawal Agreement, which is Stage 1 of the process. Once this has been agreed, the UK government and the EU will then negotiate on matters such as trade and free movement of people, workers and students. This stage is expected to take 1 more year.
Whilst the results of those future negotiations are obviously unknown as yet, the UK Government and the Student Loans Company have confirmed that current students and prospective 2020 starter students will be allowed to study and receive support from the EU for the duration of their course.
The UK Government have set up a web-page giving further advice on this - including what you need to do if you are planning on staying in the UK after you finish your course.
The important facts:
- The UK's exit from the EU will take at least 1 more year, within which time the UK is still bound by EU regulations. The SLC has confirmed that current students will continue to be funded in the normal way, including 2020/21 starters, for their full course.
- The UK Government historically protects students' rights under the same regulations under which they started their course, allowing them to complete their courses. The UK Government's statements have also now confirmed this, so as long as you progress through your course, you will continue to be funded.
- Universities UK are working on behalf of all universities to convince the Government to take steps to ensure that students (and staff) from EU countries can continue to work and study at British Universities following the UK's exit from the EU after the negotiating period has lapsed. The University of Sunderland is working with Universities UK on behalf of our EU students (and staff).