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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 Context

The UK gave formal notification of its intention to withdraw from the European Union (by triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union), on 29 March 2017.

The negotiation process is likely to take a minimum of two years, and the UK remains a member of the European Union up to, at present, 31 October 2019. There is no change to the position of EEA nationals and their family members in the UK during this time which means students and their family members can continue to exercise their residency rights in the UK.

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.

'No deal' Brexit

The Government has stated that it is committed to negotiating a deal before the deadline. However the Government has also published information on plans in the event of there being no deal on the future relationship of the UK with the EU, including the impact this will have on those wishing to work or study in the UK.

The exact details about the future implications for residency for EEA nationals and their family members, including students, who wish to come to or remain in the UK are not yet clear. As details emerge these pages will be updated.

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

    The arrangements for EU students commencing their studies in 2019/20 and beyond is still to be confirmed, and will depend upon the withdrawal arrangements from the EU. Please refer to the links in the introduction which will provide you with the latest information issued by the UK Government.

  • 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?

    Yes. There will be no immediate change to your right to work as a result of the vote. Currently students who require a visa to enter the UK are permitted to work though there are some restrictions on the hours students can work while studying full time.

  • 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
Erasmus Students
  • 15. Will the Erasmus programme continue?

    If there is a deal between the UK and the EU at the point of Brexit, it is expected that the UK can continue to participate in Erasmus until the end of the current cycle of the programme, which is 2020-21.

    In a no-deal scenario, the following guidance has been provided by:

    The UK’s participation in the Erasmus successor programme, for the period 2021-2027, is subject to further negotiation between the UK Government and European Commission.

  • 16. Information for Queen’s Students on Erasmus Placements in 2018-19

    If you will still be on your Erasmus placement at the point of Brexit, we recommend that you read the guidance for UK nationals that has been published by the UK Government and by the European Commission in the event of a Brexit with a deal or Brexit without a deal.

    The following UK Government website provides information on the rights and status of UK nationals living and travelling in the European Union:

    www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-for-british-nationals-travelling-and-living-in-europe

    It indicates that, if there is a deal between the UK and the EU at the point of Brexit, the Withdrawal Agreement allows for a transition period, during which time UK nationals will be able to visit, live and work in the EU broadly as they do now.

    The Government has also provided some guidance for UK nationals about travelling to or within the EU, in the event of a Brexit with no deal:

    www.gov.uk/government/publications/travelling-to-the-eu-with-a-uk-passport-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/travelling-to-the-eu-with-a-uk-passport-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

    In addition, the European Commission has published a press release and guidance on the no-deal scenario at:

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6851_en.htm

    The guidance from the Commission indicates that in the event of “no-deal”, UK citizens who, after Brexit, wish to visit the EU for a period of more than 90 days will require a “residence permit or a long-stay visa from the national migration authorities”.  There is no detailed guidance at this point on how this would work in practice.

    As you will appreciate, negotiations between the UK and EU are still ongoing and we are monitoring the situation closely.  We will continue to update you as further information becomes available.

  • 17. Information for Queen’s Students who will be undertaking Erasmus Placements in 2019-20

    Whether you have a compulsory year abroad in Europe in 2019-20 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 here.

    If there is a deal between the UK and the EU at the point of Brexit, it is expected that the UK can continue to participate in Erasmus until the end of the current cycle of the programme, which is 2020-21. Erasmus mobility and the associated funding should, therefore, continue as normal for students due to undertake study or work placements in 2019-20.

    If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, continued participation in Erasmus is less certain. The UK Government has said that it will negotiate with the European Commission about inclusion in Erasmus in 2019‑20 but those negotiations will not start until after Brexit. The Government had previously indicated that, in the event of no-deal, it would underwrite Erasmus grants for the 2019-20 academic year. This funding guarantee has recently been withdrawn. Queen’s University is committed to supporting Universities UK, as they lobby Government to reconsider this decision. Senior management at Queen’s are also currently considering alternative funding options and will update students when new information becomes available.

    Queen’s University is committed to the importance of student mobility and the opportunities that it provides to its students. We will continue to monitor and review the situation closely and will update students accordingly.

  • 18. Information for Students from our Erasmus Partner Universities

    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.

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

    It is strongly recommended that staff and students follow the advice provided by the UK government, and reflected in the University’s Travel Management Company, Selective Travel, document, to minimise the likelihood of problems arising. Please see links to the online information below, some of the key points to consider are listed below:

    • Flying During Brexit – the UK government and the EU confirmed in March 2019 that air travel between the UK and EU will continue regardless if there is a deal or no deal Brexit. This will apply after the UK leaves the EU and would entitle UK airlines to continue operating to and from the EU until March 2020 (at the earliest);
    • Customs/Security Checks – UK passport holders may be subject to additional checks that could result in lengthy delays following Brexit. To minimise this risk, it is recommended that travellers provide 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. It would also be advisable to monitor the UK government’s online advice on this topic as 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. However, 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 – bear in mind that the EU may introduce a ‘travel authorisation fee’ of Euro 7 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 to their contracts. Staff and students should take action to ensure that they do not inadvertently 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

    Information from Queen’s travel provider, Selective Travel, on areas including passports, health cards, and custom checks. To find out more visit the Selective Travel Brexit update.

  • 2. Are there any actions worth considering for your travel/fieldtrip to reduce the risk of disruption, and help resolve problems, should any arise?

    To minimise risk of disruption the University advises that you ensure that travel and accommodation is booked through the University’s Travel Management Company, Selective Travel.

    In the event that there is disruption to travel arrangements, Selective Travel will provide assistance in finding alternative travel and accommodation. Also, by using Selective Travel (in the majority of instances), those affected will not be required to personally pay the additional costs is situ – Selective Travel will invoice the University for this at a later stage.

    For circumstances, where emergency costs (travel, accommodation, etc.) are necessary, and must be paid in situ at the time, the following options can be considered:

    • The School can use the Purchase Card to pay for the extraordinary items;
    • For instances where this is not possible, if one of those travelling can pay for the costs (e.g. using a personal credit card), they will be reimbursed as quickly as possible. Bear in mind the conditions of the University Travel Policy on cost limits, supporting documentation, etc.

    It is recommended that those travelling have access to sufficient funds to cover additional costs arising from a disruption to travel arrangements. Please also bear in mind that the UK governments advise also notes that EU countries may require travelers from the UK to provide evidence, on entry to the country , that they have sufficient funds to cover their costs while in the EU.

    It is, however, recognised that students travelling may not have access to the level of funds required to cover unexpected costs. To assist with this, you can consider requesting a cash advance for the fieldtrip. This could be used in the event of disruption to travel because of Brexit and, if not required, should be repaid as soon as possible on return to the University. Information on accessing a cash advance is provided in section 5.7 of the University Staff Expenses Policy.

  • 3. 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 with 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.

This page was last updated on 12 April 2019.