In a referendum on 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union.
The Government made the following announcement on 11 October 2016 that "European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support".
Middlesex welcomed the Government's confirmation of continued EU student funding for 2018/19.
There are further details in the FAQs and statements from our Vice-Chancellor below.
Today the Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty which signifies the formal start of the two-year negotiation for the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union. While it is important to stress that the UK will remain a member of the EU for the next two years with no immediate change for universities, I know that the triggering of Article 50 may concern some of you. With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful to provide an update on some key areas that will be of importance to you, and reassure you that the University will continue to work with a range of organisations to ensure the best possible outcome from the negotiations.
The immigration status of EU staff has not changed as a result of the referendum vote. This will remain the case until the Government decides otherwise.
Current EU students
At this stage there is no reason to assume any change to the immigration status of EU students and the UK government has confirmed that there will be no change to access to student loans.
EU students with a place to start in academic year 2017/18
At this stage there is no reason to assume any change to the immigration status of EU students planning to commence studies in 2017/18 and the UK government has confirmed that there will be no change to access to student loans.
EU students studying in the UK under the Erasmus programme
The immigration status of Erasmus students has not changed, and they continue to be eligible for their Erasmus grant until at least as long as we remain a member of the EU and could well be extended beyond this.
UK students studying in the EU and elsewhere under the Erasmus programme
The immigration status of UK students currently studying under the Erasmus programme has not changed and they continue to be eligible for their Erasmus grant until at least as long as we remain a member of the EU and could well be extended beyond this.
All staff currently undertaking EU funded projects
Until the process of exit negotiations has concluded, the UK will remain a member of the EU, and a full participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme. The exit negotiations could take up to two years following the triggering of Article 50. In many cases, funds awarded to UK universities through these programmes in the months ahead will extend beyond the likely date of Brexit. However, the UK government confirmed in a statement on 13 August 2016 that European Commission research grants, including Horizon 2020 programme grants, awarded while the UK is still a member of the EU will be guaranteed by the Treasury. This will be the case even when the project continues beyond the UK's departure from the EU.
We continue to work closely with Universities UK (UUK) - an organisation representing UK universities - who are working pro-actively with the UK Government, the European Commission and other relevant agencies to secure a positive outcome from negotiations for UK universities and in particular:
At Middlesex, we want to continue to bring staff and students from across Europe to our University because they enrich our community and our campus life. I am determined to do all I can to preserve the diversity of our University and our welcome to people from across the world.
We will continue working closely with UUK and the broader sector to understand and mitigate the risks to Middlesex as the negotiations unfold and will provide further updates as these challenging issues are addressed.
A global outlook is a defining characteristic of our vibrant and diverse University and we are proud to have students and staff from more than 140 countries as part of our Middlesex community.
Following today’s EU Referendum result, we will continue to support and champion the valuable contribution that everyone makes to Middlesex. Although the outcome is not the one that our Board of Governors and no doubt many of you would have wished for, we respect the decision of the UK electorate.
Leaving the EU will not happen overnight. There will be a gradual exit process, and we will work with other universities and the UK Government to ensure there is as little disruption as possible. The next step for the UK is to enter into a two-year negotiation with the other Member States, during which time the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU will be decided, as well as what European cooperative arrangements the UK will stay part of.
Until we are able to receive further clarity on the broader implications, I thought it would be helpful to clarify some key areas:
Student Finance England has also announced that EU nationals who are currently studying here, and who are eligible to receive loans/or grants from them will continue to receive these loans until the end of their course. You can read the full text of their statement here.
We will continue working closely with Universities UK and the broader sector to understand and mitigate the risks to Middlesex, and will provide further updates as these issues are addressed. Universities UK have now produced a summary of frequently asked questions, which you can access via their website.
- Regardless of whether the UK is in or outside the European Union (EU), UK universities are international communities, welcoming and benefiting from students from all over the world. EU and international staff and students are and will always be an integral part of university life.
-The UK’s relationship with the EU is changing as a result of the UK vote to leave, but it is not ending – staff and students from the EU will continue to be welcome.
- The UK Government started the two-year negotiation process for leaving the EU on 29 March 2017, meaning that the UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019. Until the exit negotiations have been completed, the UK will continue to be a member of the EU, meaning it will maintain the same rights and obligations as all the other member states.
- While the UK remains a member of the EU, students studying at UK universities will continue to pay the same fees as UK students and will be eligible for tuition fee loans and grants.
Current EU students
Across all UK nations, current EU students, including those to start courses in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the same fees as UK students (free undergraduate tuition in the case of Scotland) and will be eligible to receive loans and grants for the full duration of their courses. This will be the case even if their course finishes after the UK has left the EU.
Those applying to courses starting in the 2018–19 academic year will also continue to pay the same fees as UK students (free tuition in the case of Scotland) and will be eligible to receive loans and grants to fund their studies for the full duration of their courses in England, Wales and Scotland. As with 2017–18 students, this will be the case even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.
Those starting once the UK has left the EU
The fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities after the UK has left the EU are required to pay and their entitlement to loans will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK’s exit negotiations. UK universities will continue to highlight the value of EU students to UK higher education and to British students. Regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, students from all corners of the world will continue to be welcome.
Yes. Current Erasmus+ students, including those taking part this coming academic year (2017–18) and the next (2018–19) at UK universities will still be eligible to participate in Erasmus+ exchanges. Universities UK is urging the UK Government to
prioritise negotiating continued access to the Erasmus+ programme.
Yes. UK universities have always and will always welcome staff and students from across the world. Leaving the EU does not change this. The UK’s future relationship with the EU will depend on negotiations between the UK Government and the EU. However, UK universities are committed to promoting the value of EU students, student exchange programmes, as well as the importance of ensuring EU students can continue to study in the UK without unnecessary burden in the future.