In the wake of Brexit many things are likely to change in the UK, and EU students have been left voicing concerns over whether their university fees are likely to be affected now that the UK has decided to leave the European Union. We know that EU students who are currently studying at universities throughout the UK will not have their tuition fees raised and will definitely be able to complete their courses whilst paying the same tuition fees as UK students. The real issue is what will happen to the fees of prospective EU students wishing to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate courses within the next two years.
It’s Not An Overnight Process
Leaving the European Union is not an overnight process and any member state who wishes to do so has to formally invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. What follows will be a period of negotiations that are likely to last for a minimum of two years as the UK formally negotiates the terms of its exit. Prospective EU students who want to study in the UK should see the lengthy negotiation period as entirely beneficial as many UK universities are making commitments to treat EU students the same as home students in regards to tuition fees at least for the duration of this negotiation period.
UK Universities Are Committed To European Students
The University of Oxford has taken a forward stance on the subject and has recently made a commitment to prospective EU students. Students wishing to apply for entry in the 2017/2018 academic years have been guaranteed home rate tuition fees for all years of their course. This guarantee by the University of Oxford has been applied to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Several other universities including Sheffield, Warwick and Dundee are reassuring students that fees are unlikely to change during the two-year negotiation period. Stuart Croft, Vice Chancellor of Warwick University, has suggested fees are unlikely to change until the academic year 2020 whereas Sheffield and Dundee are inviting students to apply as normal as they suggest there is unlikely to be any change to their tuition fees in the immediate future.
Period of Uncertainty After Article 50 Is Invoked
Whilst universities are providing reassurance to EU students regarding tuition fees the UK has yet to formally invoke Article 50. Once the article has been invoked the two-year negotiation period will commence. Although tuition fees are incredibly unlikely to rise during this time there's no certainty about what will happen when the UK has formally left the EU.
Apply To Study Now
Tuition fees could rise substantially after the negotiation period and the general consensus is that prospective EU students wishing to study undergraduate or postgraduate courses within the UK should apply to study sooner rather than later to take advantage of the home rate tuition fees during this transitional period. It is incredibly unlikely that universities will change tuition fees once students have commenced a course of study and for the next two years at least the fees will remain the same.