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Information for Students

Below are the responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the impact of Brexit on students.

Please note, the answers provided are general advice for reference purposes and should not be taken as specific advice based on your individual circumstances. If you have questions not answered below, please visit the contacts and support page.

The UK left the EU at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 on the basis of an agreement made between the UK and the EU known as the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK made separate agreements with the EEA EFTA states (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein) and Switzerland.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 contains all the provisions of these agreements including an agreement on citizens' rights during the 'transition period', The transition period is a period of time (which started as soon as the UK left the EU and will continue until 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020). During this time EU, EEA and Swiss citizens – and their relevant family members – can come to, or remain in, the UK on the same basis as before the UK left the EU (in line with European law).

The Government has launched a website to help businesses, organisations, individuals and families check what they need to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

The Home Office has continued to update their information to provide assurances and information for EEA nationals currently in the UK, and those wishing to come to the UK.

The UK Council for International Students (UKCISA) has a range of information on line for EEA students and their dependents, including how to apply for settlement scheme, should you wish to. The information includes blogs by students who have applied for settled status as well as other regular updates as information becomes available.

Applicants
  • 1. Will I need a visa / immigration permission to study in the UK?

    Yes. You will need to apply for immigration permission if you are:

    • in the UK currently (or arriving before 31 December 2020) and intending to stay beyond 31 December 2020; or
    • intending to come to the UK from 1 January 2021.

     

    The type of immigration permission and the deadline for applying will differ depending on when you arrived or are arriving into the UK. You can check the type of permission you will require at the government Check if you need a UK visa page.

  • 2. Will the fees change for current EU applicants?

    EU students part way through their Higher Education courses, or starting in the 2019/20 or 2020/21 academic year, will have guaranteed ‘home fee’ status for the duration of their courses in Northern Ireland.

    This will be the case whether the UK leaves the EU with a transitional arrangement, or leaves without a withdrawal agreement (“no deal”).

  • 3. Can EU students still apply for the student loan?

    EU nationals who are already in receipt of student loans from Student Finance Northern Ireland, and EU students applying for university places in NI in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years will continue to have access to student loans and certain grants, irrespective of a ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ Exit from the EU.

    This applies to all student finance from Student Finance NI for students in Northern Ireland for which EU nationals are eligible. This includes certain grants and loans to cover tuition fees (for those resident in the EEA for three years), loans and grants for maintenance (limited to those resident in the UK for at least three years), and some other grants and allowances.

    Student Finance NI will assess these applications against existing eligibility criteria, and will provide loans and/or grants in the normal way. EU nationals, or their family members, who are assessed as eligible to receive grants and/ or loans will be eligible for the duration of their study on that course.

  • 4. Can I work part-time when I am in the UK to study?

    Whether or not it is possible to work part-time will depend upon the date you arrived into the UK and the type of immigration permission you hold.

    If you come to the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 to continue to work, live or study in the UK.

    If you come to the UK after 11pm on the 31 December 2020 and hold a Student visa and are studying a degree course at Queen’s it will be possible for you to work a restricted number of hours each week.

    If you come to the UK after 11pm on the 31 December 2020 and hold Standard Visitor immigration permission for study purposes it will not be possible to work.

  • 5. Will I be eligible for the Erasmus Scheme?

    Please see the Erasmus Students section below.

  • 6. Will any bursaries or stipends I have been offered by affected?

    No, we will honour any bursaries or stipends you have been offered by the University for entry in 2019/20.

  • 7. I am an EEA applicant living in the UK – can I apply for the settlement scheme?

    Information on the settlement scheme can be found in the links in the introduction.

Current Students
  • 8. Can I apply for the settlement scheme?

    If you arrived into the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 it will be possible for you to apply for UK EU settlement until 30 June 2021.

    The EU settlement scheme is designed to offer EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens and their eligible family members living in the UK before the end of the transition period the opportunity to protect their residence in the UK after the transition period has ended.

    The scheme is not only for those who intend to settle in the UK after studying. It is immigration permission, which can lead to settlement, but does not have to be used to gain settlement. With permission under the scheme there will be no restrictions on study (where you study or what you study).

  • 9. Will my fees change once the UK leaves the EU?

    No – if you are current student your fees will not change for your current course.

  • 10. Will I still be eligible for the student loan?

    Yes - as a current student, there will be no change to your access to student loans as a result of the vote and you will continue to receive student finance for the duration of your course.

  • 11. Will I still be able to work part-time?

    Whether or not it is possible to work part-time will depend upon the date you arrived into the UK and the type of immigration permission you hold.

    If you come to the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 to continue to work, live or study in the UK.

    If you come to the UK after 11pm on the 31 December 2020 and hold a Student visa and are studying a degree course at Queen’s it will be possible for you to work a restricted number of hours each week.

    If you come to the UK after 11pm on the 31 December 2020 and hold Standard Visitor immigration permission for study purposes it will not be possible to work.

  • 12. Will there be any changes to other funding, studentships or scholarships which I am currently receiving from the University?

    No - As a current student, there will be no change to any scholarship you were awarded when you started your programme. If you receive any scholarships which are assessed annually you will continue to be considered for those scholarships in line with their criteria

  • 13. Can I still take part in the Erasmus scheme?

    Please see the Erasmus Students section below.

  • 14. Where can I get more information?

    UKCISA is the UK Council for International Students has a range of information on line for EEA students and their dependents. The information includes blogs by students who have applied for settled status as well as other regular updates as information becomes available.

Erasmus Students
  • 15. Will the Erasmus programme continue?

    The UK can continue to participate in the Erasmus programme until the end of the current cycle of the programme, up to 31 May 2023. Exchange opportunities and funding should continue as normal for the 2020-21 academic year, subject to the approval of your international placement by your School. The level of funding for 2021-22 onwards is to be confirmed.

    The UK’s participation in the next Erasmus programme is subject to further negotiation between the UK government and the European Union. The UK government has also been developing an alternative UK international mobility programme, in case Brexit negotiations are unsuccessful. It is, therefore, expected that there will still be opportunities for students to study or work in Europe during their degree programme in the future.

  • 16. Do I need a visa to study or work in Europe post Brexit?

    The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and is now in a transition period, while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. The transition period is currently scheduled to end on 31 December 2020. The current rules on travel to the EU continue to apply during the transition period but new rules will come into effect from 1 January 2021.

    Living and studying in an EU country depends on the rules in that country. You may need to register or apply for residency. You should also check the rules on healthcare. Information on the requirements for your host country are available on the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website on Living in Europe (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe) and their detailed information for each country (https://www.gov.uk/topic/help-british-nationals-overseas/europe).

  • 17. How do I apply to go on an Erasmus placement?

    Whether you have a compulsory year abroad in Europe as part of your degree or are considering an optional Erasmus placement, you should continue to apply through your Queen’s School in the normal manner. Please contact your School Erasmus Programme Director for guidance on the application process. Their details and other useful information is available at: https://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/sgc/careers/GlobalOpportunities/StudyAbroad/ErasmusProgrammeStudyAbroad/Erasmus/Informationforoutgoingstudents/.

  • 18. Can I still come to Queen’s as an Erasmus student from another European country?s

    We currently have student exchange agreements with a large number of universities all across Europe and are committed to those relationships. We expect to continue to be able to accept incoming exchange students. Please contact your home university for guidance on their selection process and the availability of funding. Information on applying to Queen’s as an Erasmus student is available at: https://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/Studyabroad/ErasmusProgramme/.

Travel
  • 1. Is there any advice/guidance I should consider when undertaking University travel or a field trip?

    It is recommended that staff and students follow the advice provided by:

    Sign up for alerts from Selective Travel to stay up-to-date with travel news.

    Booking

    It will benefit you to use Selective Travel to book all your travel requirements as they will manage any travel disruption issues including management of the associated costs.

    Preparing to travel

    When preparing to travel it is recommended that travellers check the UK Government Foreign travel advice pages regarding the travel destinations and sign up to receive email alerts.

    Travelling with equipment

    If you are arranging travel to the EU with sports, exhibition or other equipment please read the advice provided by the UK Government.

    There will be no immediate changes to travel if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. The rules would be the same until at least the end of 2020.

    Customs/Security Checks

    UK passport holders may be subject to additional checks that could result in delays following Brexit. To minimise this risk leave more time than usual when travelling.

    Passports/Visas

    Make sure passports for everyone travelling are valid for at least 6 months after the date of your planned trip. Monitor the online advice, some countries may require entry visas after Brexit.

    Health Cards

    European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) may no longer be valid for UK citizens in the EU. The University is a member of U.M. Association Ltd (UMAL), and as a result, staff and students are covered by travel and medical insurance while on University business. This insurance cover will apply to EU countries after Brexit.

    Fees

    The EU may introduce a ‘travel authorisation fee’ for travellers coming from outside the Single Market.

    Mobile Data Roaming Charges

    The EU has abolished mobile data roaming charges. Travellers from the UK should be aware that after the UK leaves the EU, mobile data roaming changes may again apply. Staff and students should take action to ensure that they do not inadertently incur substantial charges.

    Driving

    UK drivers may potentially need to apply for a European Driving Licence and obtain an insurance Green Card if driving in the EU.

    Travel risk assessment

    Carry out a travel risk assessment. Travellers are advised to identify the potential travel risks through a risk assessment associated with the area to which they are travelling and to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to minimise such risks. This includes contacting their GP to ensure they are fit for travel and ensuring that their immunisations are up to date.

    Sufficient funds to cover costs

    EU countries may require travellers from the UK to provide evidence, on entry to the country, that they have sufficient funds to cover their costs while in the EU. Using Selective Travel to book and pay for accommodation assists this. If required information on accessing a cash advance is provided in section 5.7 of the University Staff Expenses Policy.

  • 2. Driving in the EU after Brexit

    International Driving Permits (IDPs)

    Driving in the Republic of Ireland

    If you hold a UK driving licence, and intend driving in the Republic of Ireland following a no deal EU Exit, you will not need an International Driving Permit. This is because the Republic of Ireland does not require IDPs to be held by driving licence holders from non-EU countries. More information on driving in the Republic of Ireland is available on the NI Direct website.

    Driving in other EU and EEA countries

    If there is no deal EU Exit, UK Driving Licence holders may need an IDP, in addition to your UK driving licence, to drive when visiting EU and EEA countries. To find out more please visit theUK government’s online guidance.

    Motor Vehicle Insurance – 'Green Card'

    A motor insurance Green Card is evidence of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. If there is a no deal EU Exit, and the European Commission does not make a decision ensuring that UK registered vehicles will not be checked for proof of insurance, drivers of UK registered vehicles will need to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU and EEA. This requirement applies to driving in the Republic of Ireland. Staff or students driving in the EU, while on University business, will therefore, require a Green Card. The way to get a Green Card is dependent on the following circumstances:

    University Fleet Vehicles

    Staff and students using their own vehicle to drive in the EU after a no deal EU Exit should acquire a Green Card from their motor insurance provider.

    Use of Personal Vehicles for University Business

    The University’s insurance provider, UMAL will supply Green Cards for the University’s fleet vehicles. A member of staff or student driving a fleet vehicle in the EC must ensure that they have the Green Card for the vehicle with them..

    Hire Vehicles

    Staff or students hiring a vehicle to drive in the EU after a no deal EU Exit will, for a limited period of time, need to buy motor insurance from the Hire Vehicle Provider and ensure that the vehicle provider supplies a Green Card before the vehicle is driven in the EU. It is anticipated that the requirement to include motor insurance when hiring a vehicle will be a temporary measure for a short period following a no deal EU Exit. The University is working with UMAL to put in place arrangements where UMAL will be able to provide Green Cards for hired vehicles to enable the University’s UMAL insurance cover to provide cover. Additional information is available on the UK Government’s website.

  • 3. Will European nationals need a visa after Brexit to attend a conference or make a business visit?

    Freedom of movement for European nationals remains in place until 11pm on 31 December 2020. This means that EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will be able to enter the UK as they do now until this date. From the 11pm on 31 December 2020 free movement ends and EU nationals will require immigration permission to enter the UK, you can check here which type of permission you require: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

    Irish citizens will be able to enter, work and study in the UK without a visa as they can now.

    EEA national ID cards are being phased out for travel to the UK during 2020 so use of passport is recommended.

  • 4. Will I need a visa to attend a conference in Europe?

    If there is a deal in place UK nationals can continue to travel to the EU/EEA and Switzerland as they do now until December 2020. The Council and the European Parliament have agreed that from January 2021 UK citizens will be granted visa free travel as long as the UK reciprocates. UK nationals will be required to use the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to travel to Europe. ETIAS will allow short visits not exceeding 60 days in total in a 180 day period. It is advisable to check entry requirement updates for the country you are visiting before travelling.

    If there is no deal freedom of movement will continue until December 2020 and the agreement on reciprocal visa exemption from January 2021 will still apply. However, the European Health Insurance Card will no longer be valid and travel insurance will be required that meets your healthcare needs. It would also be worth ensuring that your passport has at least 6 month’s validity remaining at time of application.

Qualifications
  • 1. Will my degree be recognised in Europe now that the UK has left the EU?

    The recognition of academic qualifications is overseen by the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The UK’s participation in the EHEA will not change as a result of any future relationship with the EU, and your academic qualifications will continue to be recognised in the same way as currently. There are some exceptions to this for regulated professions – these are doctors, nurses, dental practitioners, pharmacists, lawyers, architects or engineers.

  • 2. My degree is a regulated profession – will it be recognised in the EU (excluding Ireland) now that the UK has left the EU?

    If you received your qualification before 31 December 2020 then yes it will be recognised.

    For regulated professions (doctors, nurses, dental practitioners, pharmacists, lawyers, architects or engineers), it will be down to the individual member states to negotiate whether or not their professional bodies will recognise professional qualifications secured in the UK after 31 December 2020.

    Please note that regulated professional qualifications will continue to be recognised in Ireland.

    All current students, and those applying to start in 2021, should check the government’s website. There you will see how the regulations will apply to your current or future qualifications. This is important as these new regulations might inform your career choices. Please note that although the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications was not included in the Trade Agreement signed in December 2020, the UK Government has committed to exploring the future possibility that UK qualifications could be part of a future agreement – it is therefore important that you continue to check the relevant government websites for future updates.

  • 3. I am a UK student and would like to practice my profession in the EU – will I be able to do this?

    UK nationals wishing to practise regulated professions in the EEA, irrespective of where they acquired their qualifications, and EEA citizens with qualifications acquired in the United Kingdom will need to have them recognised in the relevant Member State on the basis of that country’s rules for third-country nationals and/or third-country qualifications. The exception to this is Ireland where UK professional qualifications will continue to be recognised.

This page was last updated on 4 January 2021.