UK universities are proudly international and greatly value the contributions made by students from around the world. There is understandably concern about the potential impact of Covid-19 on student enrolments from overseas, but this is likely to be short-term. It is Brexit which will be the key long-term factor for European students. According to HESA statistics, in 2019-20, 53 higher education providers in the UK had over 1000 students from EU countries, with UCL, King’s, Coventry and Edinburgh all with over 3500. 

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students will lose their right to pay home student fees at British universities. Whereas students with ‘home fee’ status have their fees capped at £9250 per annum, and are eligible to apply for student loans, international student fees are considerably higher at most institutions. The University of Birmingham, for example, charges international students undergraduate fees ranging from £19020 for a standard degree course, to £42000 for a clinical-based course. (2021-22). 

However, universities are keen to encourage EU students to continue to apply and many have launched ‘transition programmes’ which will offer them automatic scholarships to bring their fees down to the same as those paid by home students. The University of Southampton has launched an EU scholarship which will offer a £5000 reduction for undergraduate and postgraduate students. iii

Many other universities are expected to follow suit. At the moment, it is up to individual institutions to determine their fee structure for EU students, so our advice is for any prospective students to contact the university they are interested in studying at to find out what is available.

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