EU students at universities in England will continue to be treated the same as home students in the first intake after Brexit.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds says EU students starting in autumn 2019 will pay the same tuition fees as English students and their access to support will be unchanged.
This status will last for the duration of their degree courses. Mr Hinds said he wanted to provide “clarity and certainty”.
The Scottish government has already made a similar commitment to EU students starting in Scottish universities in autumn 2019 – which will mean they will continue to pay no tuition fees.
Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said it would provide “much needed clarity for EU students and for universities”.
No ‘cliff edge’
For universities, worried about their student numbers and finances, it means there will be no “cliff edge” for recruitment from the EU immediately after Brexit in March 2019.
It might also be seen as a conciliatory gesture, ahead of negotiations in which the UK’s universities hope to maintain access to a share of 100bn euros (£89bn) of EU research funding.
There are about 135,000 EU students in UK universities and vice-chancellors recently called for “urgent clarification” about the status of EU students who might apply for courses beginning in autumn 2019.
So far there is no long-term decision or reciprocal deal on how UK students in the EU, or EU students in the UK, will be treated post-Brexit.
If EU students were to be classified as overseas students, their fees would be much higher which could deter them from studying in the UK.
There are 135,000 EU students in UK universities – with their status to remain unchanged for at least another year. Read more