Students from the European Union starting university in England next year will have to pay higher fees under funding changes introduced as a result of Brexit, the government said Tuesday (23 June).
“Following our decision to leave the EU, EU, other EEA (European Economic Area) and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status… for courses starting in academic year 2021/22,” universities minister Michelle Donelan said.
Until now, EU nationals have benefited from the same status as British students, who can borrow loans from the government to cover fees of up to £9,250 (€10,220) a year for a full-time undergraduate course.
Other foreign students are not eligible for the loan and their fees are often much higher, rising to £36,065 for the most expensive course at Oxford University.
The change will not affect EU, EEA or Swiss nationals already settled in Britain, whose rights were protected in a divorce deal struck between London and Brussels before Brexit on 31 January.
Nor will it affect students starting courses in the 2020-2021 academic year, thanks to a post-Brexit transition period that lasts until December, Donelan said in a written statement to parliament.
Irish students will also be exempt due to the special immigration status of all Irish citizens in Britain.
Many EU students study in Britain, and vice versa, as part of the bloc’s Erasmus scheme.
London says it wants to continue to participate, but the details are still being worked out with Brussels as the two sides negotiate their broader future relationship.