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EU students will continue to pay home tuition fees


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EU students will continue to pay home-fees even in the case of a no deal Brexit.

Speaking in Brussels, Universities Minister Chris Skidmore confirmed that EU students who start at English universities in the 2020/21 academic year will continue to pay home tuition fees.

Image credit: Discott via Wikimedia Commons

The fees will remain at £9,250 a year and EU applicants will still be eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support, Advanced Learner loans as well as FE and apprenticeship support.

EU nationals starting at English universities in 2019/20 were previously given the same deal, ensuring access to tuition loans and student finance.

The Scottish government had previously gone further, guaranteeing that EU students starting at Scottish universities in 2020 would continue not to pay tuition fees, regardless of Brexit.

Scottish and EU students do not pay tuition fees at Scottish universities, while international students and students from other parts of the UK do.

Speaking at the conference, Chris Skidmore said:

"We value the important contribution that international students, including those from the EU, make to our universities and it is a testament to our world-leading higher education system that so many students from abroad choose to come and study here."

"It is important that we remember that while we have chosen to leave the EU, we are not leaving Europe, and our universities thrive on the diversity of being global institutions."

"We know that students will be considering their university options for next year already, which is why we are confirming now that eligible EU nationals will continue to benefit from home fee status and can access financial support for the 20/21 academic year, so they have the certainty they need to make their choice."

NUS Vice President for Higher Education Amatey Doku responded to the announcement, saying the organisation welcomes the news.

“NUS welcome today’s announcement and believe that all students should be able to access opportunities to study abroad, which have overwhelmingly positive effects not only for individual students, but for the institutions and the communities in which they study.

“However, these opportunities are likely to shut off to many EU students, who will at best lose access to crucial financial support and face increased fees after Brexit, and at worse lose access to the UK as a study destination altogether. This is much more of an acute risk under a catastrophic no deal scenario, which the government must rule out.

“As such we urge the government to ensure that EU students retain all of their existing rights and opportunities after Brexit and to guarantee a People’s Vote on any deal, so that students have the opportunity to say no if the deal fails to deliver for them.

“What is more, it is essential that students are able to make informed choices about the future of their education and we urge the government to provide clarity on the status of EU students post 2021, to ensure that the UK remains to be an attractive place to study.”

Universities UK, a group which represents 140 higher education institutions, also welcomed the news. The organisation previously called for greater clarity on how much EU students would be charged to study at English universities.

Lead image credit: Discott via Wikimedia Commons

More to follow.

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