Have some pie!

England assures EU student funding, fees through 2018

EU students studying at an English university or further education institution in 2018/19 will continue to pay the same fees as domestic students for the duration of their degree as well as accessing loan funding and grants, the government has confirmed.

Universities minister Jo JohnsonEU nationals will be able to apply to study at English higher and further education institutions “safe in the knowledge financial assistance is available if needed”, said universities minister Jo Johnson. Photo: British High Commission, New Delhi.

“This will provide reassurance to the brightest minds from across Europe to continue applying to study in the UK"

The announcement came during a tumultuous week in which Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election and rumours swirled that May is willing to soften her long-held stance on non-EU students being included in net migration figures.

“This announcement gives EU students the certainty they need and universities clarity to plan ahead”

Announcing the tuition fee assurances for EU students today, Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson said: “We have been clear about our commitment to the UK’s world-class higher education sector.”

“This will provide reassurance to the brightest minds from across Europe to continue applying to study in the UK, safe in the knowledge financial assistance is available if needed.”

Johnson also confirmed that EU nationals will remain eligible for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions in 2018/19.

The announcement will come as a relief to the education sector, which has been pushing for funding assurances as the UK prepares to exit from the EU. It follows a similar guarantee from the Scottish government last month.

“This announcement gives EU students the certainty they need when considering studying in the UK as well as giving our universities clarity to plan ahead,” commented Tim Bradshaw, acting director of the Russell Group.

Alistair Jarvis, deputy chief executive of Universities UK, also welcomed the announcement but stressed: “It is now vital that this announcement is communicated effectively to prospective students across Europe.”

“Moving forward, we need to see a new post-Brexit immigration policy that encourages all international students to choose to study in the UK coupled with welcoming messages from government, recognising their hugely positive social and economic impact on the UK,” he added.

Higher education stakeholders also expressed cautious optimism this week amid rumours that the prime minister is considering softening her stance on including non-EU students in net migration targets.

“It is now vital that this announcement is communicated effectively to prospective students”

The sector has lobbied for international students not to be counted as migrants, to ensure they are not targeted by the government’s efforts to reduce immigration.

The House of Lords has tabled an amendment to Johnson’s Higher Education and Research Bill – a sweeping package of reforms that aims to open up degree granting powers to more private providers and enable universities to raise tuition fees based on teaching quality – to remove students from net migration figures.

The amendment has yet to be discussed in the House of Commons and its inclusion in the final bill is not guaranteed.

However, there is speculation that the government will offer a “regulatory compromise” on how non-EU student numbers are calculated in order to ensure the bill passes before the general election in June, The Times reported this week.

“Any decision to take international students – not out of the statistics but – out of the drive to cut net migration would obviously be hugely welcomed and would send a powerful signal both in the UK and around the world that we really do want to welcome all those who can benefit from a great British education and to see these numbers once again grow,” commented Dominic Scott, chief executive of the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

Still looking? Find by category:

Add your comment

Disclaimer: All user contributions posted on this site are those of the user ONLY and NOT those of The PIE Ltd or its associated trademarks, websites and services. The PIE Ltd does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.