Brexit information

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union is a landmark moment in the nation’s history. It has significant implications for the UK and EU and has understandably left many of our students, staff and the wider University community with questions that cannot be easily answered.

In the short term however, as the government decides the best way forward and negotiates the terms of the UK’s exit, we do not anticipate any disruption to the employment or education of our staff and students.

The University of Surrey remains committed to diversity and continues to work with and support staff, students, alumni and partners from the EU. Their contribution to the University community and society as a whole is invaluable. We are working closely with Universities UK and higher education bodies from across the UK to urge the government to ensure students and staff from EU countries can continue to study and work in the UK once the UK leaves the EU. We are also working hard to ensure the UK can continue to participate in valuable EU research collaborations and funding programmes.

Current status

Following the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the government has formerly started the process of extracting the UK from the EU. A complex negotiation process requiring the involvement of all 27 remaining Member States and the European Commission is currently taking place, looking at all the agreements that have been reached during the UK’s 40-year membership of the EU.

As this is the first time any Member State has voted to leave the EU, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about the process and next steps but we will strive to share updates as and when we have them.

Specific information

The Minister of State for Universities and Science has confirmed that there will be no immediate changes to the immigration status of EU students. The UK’s vote to leave the EU will not lead to any immediate change to the tuition fees paid by current EU students studying at UK universities – EU students will continue to be entitled to pay the same fees as UK students for the duration of their study (visit our fees section for more information).

EU students who are currently eligible to receive loans and grants from the Student Loans Company will continue to do so until they finish their course.

If you are currently overseas on an Erasmus+ placement you will not be affected if there is a No Deal Brexit on 31 October 2019. If you are considering applying to participate in the Erasmus+ scheme next year (2020/21) there will be funding available for students planning to study at a European partner or undertaking an unpaid or low-paid Professional Training placement that finishes by 31 May 2021. For all other Erasmus+ options we are awaiting the decision of the government in terms of the funding bid for 2020/21.

By 31 October 2019, the UK is due to leave the European Union. This is likely to lead to changes to the system for EU students coming to the UK to study.

Applicants for 2020/21 entry

Fees and financial support – the UK Government has confirmed that EU students who begin their degree in or before the 2020/21 academic year will still be eligible for home student fees and financial support. This will remain the case for the duration of their course. 

Visas and immigration – students from the EU will not need a visa if they arrive before 1 January 2021. But EU students should apply for “settled” or “pre-settled” status if they would like to stay in the UK beyond January 2021.

Applicants for 2021/22

The situation for EU students wishing to start a course at a UK university in 2021/22 has not yet been confirmed by the UK Government.

Further information

Universities UK and the UK Council for International Student Affairs have produced a FAQs document (PDF) for EU students.

The government has confirmed that in the short term, there will be no changes to UK visa policies for University staff currently employed by, or applying to, work in UK universities.

On 28 September 2019 Chancellor Sajid Javid committed to announce a package of measures to support the next generation, promote economic growth, and prepare for a post-Brexit future. Some clarification was also provided regarding post-Brexit funding:

“If the UK leaves the EU without a deal and should the EU cease to fund UK organisations after Brexit, the government has guaranteed funding to organisations in receipt of certain EU programme funding (such as the European Regional Development Fund and Horizon 2020).

Today (28 September) the Chancellor confirmed that the total amount covered by the guarantee would be £4.3bn in 2019/20 and £16.6bn over its lifetime – providing reassurance to charities, businesses and universities amongst others.”.gov.uk

Please check the Brexit information pages on SurreyNet for further information for staff (internal users only).

The University of Surrey values diversity and continues to welcome applications from qualified researchers, scientists, academics, professionals and support staff from the EU

It is important to reiterate that until a time in the future when the United Kingdom exits the EU, it remains a full member of the EU and rights and obligations continue to fully apply in, and to, the UK – meaning there are no changes to the status of EU citizens in the UK.

If you are a citizen of one of the following European Economic Area (EEA) countries or Switzerland, you have the continued right to work in the UK:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

The government stated on 11 July 2016 that: “When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected."

If, after reading this, you are still unsure of your eligibility to freely work and live in the UK as an EU national, you are welcome to contact us via our Human Resources team, who are on hand to offer support and advice to applicants interested in applying for our current vacancies.