Oxford and the EU: student Q&As | University of Oxford
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Oxford and the EU: student Q&As

Page updated 2 February 2020

The implications of the UK leaving the European Union  

The United Kingdom left the European Union on Friday 31 January 2020 following the approval of a withdrawal agreement negotiated between the UK government and the EU.

As part of the negotiations, an implementation period was agreed that will run until Thursday 31 December 2020. This will see the UK temporarily remain a member of the single market and customs union and continue to be subject to EU regulations. UK citizens resident in the EU and EU citizens resident in the UK prior to the UK’s departure will enjoy largely the same rights as they did before exit day. Taken together, this means that the work of the University, its staff, and students can continue as it did before the UK’s departure.

During the implementation period negotiations will take place on the future relationship. A UK-EU agreement will need to be negotiated and ratified by the end of December 2020, or an extension to the implementation period requested and agreed by Wednesday 1 July 2020. The University undertook detailed preparations for the possibility of the UK leaving without a deal in 2019 and will ensure appropriate measures are in place should we face further uncertainty.

Whatever the outcome of the negotiations, the University of Oxford is, and intends to remain, a thriving, cosmopolitan community of scholars and students united in our commitment to education and research. The departure from the EU will not change this; our staff and students from all across the world are as warmly welcome as ever.

The information below is correct at the time of writing on the basis of current UK government and EU policy. It will be updated as new advice is issued.

For all current students

I plan to travel abroad in the near future. Do I need to do anything?

Freedom of movement will remain unchanged during the implementation period, which means that no additional action is required for those travelling to the EU. More information is available on this page on the UK Government website, or on the UKCISA website.

What will happen to my healthcare rights?
There are no changes planned to the rights of access to healthcare for UK citizens living in the EU and vice-versa during the implementation period, which ends on 31 December 2020. After this date, these rights may change, depending on the negotiations with the EU. You are therefore advised to take both the following steps if you are a UK student spending time in the EU, or are an EU student in the UK:

  • Ensure that you have a valid up to date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); AND
  • Ensure your insurance includes adequate healthcare cover for any period studying/working away from your home country

You are advised not to rely only on EHIC rights at any point, as this is not an alternative to travel insurance.  

You should ensure that you stay up-to-date with the information on this page and healthcare information available via the UK government website. You will need to consult this government webpage for each individual EU country you may be residing in.

I am a postgraduate working with a research team funded by an ongoing Horizon 2020 grant. What will happen to this funding?

During the implementation period, the UK will continue to participate in Horizon 2020, and all its grants will continue to be funded by the EU.  All existing UK participants will continue to receive funding from the European Commission for the full duration of funded projects (including those which run beyond 31 December 2020). Current funding applications will continue to be evaluated by the Commission, and UK researchers can continue to submit applications to Horizon 2020 calls.

Where can I find more information on the Government’s position?

The UK Government has a dedicated Brexit hub with further information about the UK’s exit from the EU.  

For current EU students

Will my immigration status change?

There will be no changes to current visa requirements or entitlements until the end date of the implementation period, which is likely to be December 31, 2020. You will need to apply under the EU settlement scheme if you wish to stay beyond this date. See the student visa webpages for further information and for dates of the presentations the Student Immigration team offer about applying for this scheme.

Immigration status will be subject to negotiation during the implementation period. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

What course fees will I be charged? 

Current EU fee status students, including those who started their courses in the 2019/20 academic year, will be charged the 'Home' rate for course fees for all years of their course. This will only increase in accordance with the information on changes to fees and charges set out in the applicable version of the University’s terms and conditions (see Your contract with the University page).

You can find fee information via our Fees, Funding and Scholarships search.

Will my fee status change?

The UK government has confirmed that EU fee status students commencing their studies in 2019/20 or earlier will continue to have ‘Home’ fee status and pay fees at the home rate for the duration of their course.

What will happen to my healthcare rights?

There are no changes planned to the rights of access to healthcare of EU citizens living in the UK during the implementation period, which ends on 31 December 2020. After this date, these rights may change, depending on the negotiations with the EU. You must therefore take both the following steps:

  • Ensure that you have a valid up to date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); AND
  • Ensure your insurance includes adequate healthcare cover for any period studying/working away from your home country

 You are advised not to rely only on EHIC rights at any point, as this is not an alternative to travel insurance.  

You should ensure that you stay up-to-date with the information on this page and healthcare information available via www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. You will need to consult this government webpage for each individual EU country you may be residing in.

I am on either a six year, or accelerated graduate-entry medical course. How will my fee status be affected?

As an EU fee status student you will be charged the ‘Home’ rate for course fees for all years of your medical programme (leading to the degrees of BM BCh) at Oxford if you started in 2019/20 or earlier. Fee statuses are not reassessed during these courses, except in the very specific circumstances outlined on the Fee Status page, which are highly unlikely to apply to a student already being charged ‘Home’ fees.

For EU fee status students on the six-year course:

-         Under current government regulations, if you transfer to another medical school for your clinical study, we expect you will continue to be charged fees at the home rate

-         If you are registered on a different Oxford programme between the pre-clinical and clinical sections of your course, your fee status for the intercalated course will be assessed based on the situation, and the government regulations, at the time. When you return for the clinical stage of the medical course, you will resume with home fee rates

For more information about fees, see the Changes to Fees and Charges pages of the Fees and Funding website and consult the applicable version of the University’s terms and conditions (see Your contract with the University pages).

Will my University funding be affected?

If you are in receipt of University funding, the University is committed to the provision of this support.

Will I be able to apply for student loan support?

The UK government has confirmed that eligible undergraduate and postgraduate EU students commencing or continuing on an eligible course in the 2019/20 academic year, will be able to apply for student loan support for the duration of their course, even if the course concludes after the UK’s exit from the EU.

Will my UKRI research councils fees-only funding be affected?

The UK government has confirmed that existing postgraduate training support from UKRI research councils will remain available to EU students commencing or continuing their studies in 2019/20 for the duration of their course. 

Where can I find information and advice on studying in the UK and on the implications of UK plans to leave European Union membership?

Please refer to the UKCISA website for up to date information and advice on studying in the UK.

For current undergraduates with a compulsory year abroad

I am on a compulsory year abroad in 2019/20. What action do I need to take?

You should continue with your arrangements, noting the following:

  • If you are currently undertaking, or are due to undertake activity in the EU supported by the Erasmus+ scheme (an Assistantship, a study exchange, or work placement(s)), your funding arrangements will continue as planned. The University has an approved Erasmus+ programme in place for the 2019/20 academic year, and therefore your funding will not be impacted by negotiations relating to the UK’s departure from the EU.
  • If you are in receipt of UK government support (i.e. via Student Finance agencies) or Oxford funding in 2019/20, this will be unaffected by the UK’s departure from the EU and the subsequent implementation period which follows.
  • Until there is clarity on the nature of arrangements following the UK’s departure from the EU, it is unfortunately not possible to provide specific advice about travel, immigration, or work/study arrangements in the EU, for activity within or between EU countries. However, we recommend that you check the links available via this page on the UK Government website for the latest updates. You should ensure that you revisit this information as close to any dates of travel as possible. This includes when you travel between EU countries and, or when travelling between the EU and the UK. . This is in case there any changes to arrangements during the implementation period (expected to end 31 December 2020).  
  • When planning your budget, you should be mindful of currency fluctuations which may arise as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU.
  • You will be contacted by your faculty direct to confirm any change in requirements, and if additional information is made available that is likely to impact on your year abroad arrangements.
  • As previously advised, you are expected to have obtained insurance for your Year Abroad and should make sure that the insurance you have in place includes adequate healthcare cover for any period studying/working away from the UK. UK citizens should make sure that they have a valid up-to-date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You are advised not to rely only on EHIC rights at any point, as this is not an alternative to travel insurance, and rights under EHIC cards may change after 31 December 2020.  You should also ensure that you stay up-to-date with the information on this page and healthcare information available via the UK government website. You will need to consult that webpage for each individual EU country you may be residing in.

I will be on a compulsory year abroad in 2020/21 or 2021/22. What should I do?

You should continue to make plans for your year abroad while staying up to date with guidance provided by your faculty and any further guidance published by the University as it becomes available, noting the following:

  • Erasmus+ arrangements
    The University is currently applying to participate in the Erasmus+ programme for the 2020/21 academic year, in line with annual bid processes. In the past, the programme has supported students to undertake Assistantships, study exchanges, and work placements.

    The UK’s participation in Erasmus+ beyond the 2020/21 academic year is not guaranteed, as this depends on the UK’s trade negotiations with the EU. Erasmus+ arrangements have therefore not yet been clarified for the 2021/22 academic year. Despite the uncertainty, the University is continuing to advocate strongly for continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme and is wholly committed to seeking to ensure student exchanges with European partner schemes continue if and when Erasmus + participation is no longer available. We are working with our partner institutions to seek to maintain arrangements relating to fees and charges on the same terms as previously, as far as reasonably possible.  However, in the event that funding is not made available through the European Commission or the UK government for Erasmus+ activity in 2020/21 or 2021/22, the University has committed to providing living costs grants on a similar basis to current Erasmus+ grants, for students undertaking exchange activity required as a compulsory part of an undergraduate degree programme.Further information and updates relating to the Erasmus+ programme at Oxford are available at ox.ac.uk/erasmus.

  • Working and studying in the EU
    If you are planning on working or studying in the EU, please note that the types and nature of activities available may change as arrangements relating to the UK’s departure from the EU are progressed. Furthermoresome costs related to year abroad activity in Europe may increase following the UK’s departure from the EU. The University will take steps to minimise the impact of increases in students’ costs resulting from the UK leaving the EU, where reasonably possible.

  • Availability of paid work placements:
    We hope that it will continue to be possible for students to undertake paid employment in EU countries in the 2020/21 or 2021/22 academic years as part of their year abroad activity, but this is not currently guaranteed as it depends on the UK’s trade negotiations with the EU. If paid work for students in the EU remains an option after negotiations between the UK and EU are finalised, there may be changes. These could affect the types of work available, the terms on which it can be undertaken, or the costs/benefits of paid work, or the taxation and/or immigration requirements. Further information will be included on this webpage as soon as clarification is provided.  In the meantime, if you aim to undertake a work placement/internship/assistantship during 2020/21, you should continue your planning as normal, while ensuring you stay up-to-date by consulting this webpage regularly. You should also consult government sources such as the information on preparing for Brexit and on visiting Europe after 1 January 2021 (which has guidance relevant to each destination country in the EU).

The University is closely monitoring the advice from the UK government and other parties about the UK’s departure from the EU. We will ensure you are informed of any developments about any impact on year abroad arrangements as soon as more information is known. This will include advice about immigration, working arrangements in the EU and healthcare.  

For EU students starting in the academic year 2020/21:

What course fees will I be charged in the academic year 2020/21?

Following an announcement by the Universities Minister on 28 May 2019, EU fee status students commencing their studies in 2020/21 academic year will be charged fees at the 'Home' rate for the duration of their course.

You can find fee information via our Fees, Funding and Scholarships Search for undergraduate and graduate students. EU fee status students who begin their studies at the University in 2020/21 will be charged course fees at the home rate for all years of their course.

For new entrants in 2020/21 the fees will be outlined in your Course Information Sheet and offer letter (if applicable), and governed by the applicable version of the University’s terms and conditions. Information on changes to fees and charges in subsequent years for students who start in 2020/21 are set out on the Changes to Fees and Charges page for undergraduate or graduate study and are also available in the applicable version of the University’s terms and conditions (see Your contract with the University page).

Will University funding be affected?

For those in receipt of University funding, the University is committed to the provision of this support.

Will my fee status change?

The UK government has confirmed that EU fee status students commencing their studies in 2020/21 will continue to have ‘Home’ fee status and pay fees at the 'Home' rate for the duration of their course.

Will I be able to apply for student loan support?

The UK government has confirmed  that existing student loans will remain available to EU students who are commencing their studies in 2020/21 for the duration of their course. 

Will my Research Councils UK (RCUK) fees-only funding be affected?

The UK government has confirmed that existing postgraduate training support from UKRI research councils will remain available to EU students commencing their studies in 2020/21 for the duration of their course. 

Details of Research Council funding and other scholarships for graduate study at Oxford for entry in the academic year 2020/21 are available on our Oxford funding pages. 

Will I be able to participate in the Erasmus+ programme?

Oxford remains wholly committed to the Erasmus+ programme and to ensuring student exchanges with European partner universities continue. 

The University is strongly advocating for continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme, including access to funding contributions for undergraduates’ compulsory years abroad.

Year abroad arrangements will continue to be in place. In the event that funding is not made available through the European Commission or the UK government for Erasmus+ activity, the University has committed to funding exchange activity required as a compulsory part of an undergraduate degree programme on a similar basis. Some costs related to year abroad activity may be subject to some variation as arrangements relating to the UK's departure from the EU are progressed. 

The University will ensure students are informed of any developments about participation in the Erasmus+ programme as these are announced on the National Agency’s webpage.

Further information and updates relating to the Erasmus+ programme at Oxford are available online.

Where can I find information and advice on studying in the UK and on the implications of UK plans to leave European Union membership?

Please refer to the UKCISA website for up to date information and advice on studying in the UK.

The University understands that there are other questions to which many students, applicants and offer holders seek answers, such as access to the NHS and post-study right to work. The University will update this page as UK and EU negotiations advance.

If you have a question that you would like to ask, you are welcome to use this online form.

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