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

Page updated 27 November 2020

Implications of the UK's exit from the European Union

The United Kingdom left the European Union at 11pm (GMT) on Friday 31 January following the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK Government and the EU.

As part of the Agreement, a transition period 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. The Agreement further guarantees that UK-based participants in Horizon 2020 projects will continue to be funded by the EU to the end of their projects. Taken together, this means that the work of the University, its staff, and students can continue as it did prior to the UK’s departure until the end of the transition period.

Negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU are currently taking place. Both parties are seeking to agree and ratify the terms of the future relationship before the transition period ceases to apply.

The University is monitoring developments and will ensure that appropriate measures are in place depending on the situation we face at the end of this year. The University is also engaging closely with ministers, officials, and colleagues at other UK universities in order to protect the interests of the higher education sector as the negotiations progress. Once the results of the negotiation are clear, we will make students and staff aware of the potential impacts on Oxford.

Whatever the outcome, 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 latest advice on the Brexit process can be found below. This information 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 in line with government guidance around COVID-19. 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 transition period hub with further information about the UK’s exit from the EU.  

For current EU students

Will my immigration status change?

If you are currently living in the UK, or arrive, before 31 December 2020, you will need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme if you wish to stay beyond 30 June 2021 and are advised to apply as soon as possible. If you are granted pre-settled or settled status under the scheme you will not need a student visa.

If you recently/previously lived in the UK and have left temporarily you may be eligible to apply for the scheme outside the UK if you have only been away for a short period and can prove your previous residency in the UK. See the student visa webpages for further information and for dates of the presentations the Student Immigration team offer about applying for this scheme.

If you have not recently/previously lived in the UK and plan to arrive on or after 1 January 2021 you will need to obtain a Student visa before you can come to the UK. This will require a visa application fee of £348 and to pay the immigration health surcharge of £470 times the number of years of your course, all paid in advance. You could consider arriving before 31 December 2020 to avoid this requirement and fees but it will depend on your personal situation and circumstances and the travel situation in your home country and the UK. Starting your course online in October 2020 is not enough to apply for the scheme alone as you need to show you are living in the UK/have lived here recently. See the student visa webpages for further information.

What course fees will I be charged? 

Current EU fee status students, including those who started their courses in the 2020/21 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 who commenced their studies in 2020/21 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 2020/21 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 medicine 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 who commenced or are continuing on an eligible course in the 2020/21 academic year, will be able to apply for student loan support for the duration of their course provided that they meet the residency requirements.

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 who commenced or are continuing their studies in 2020/21 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 or due to undertake a year abroad during 2020/21 in line with government guidance around COVID-19. 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))(where this is possible in view of the various Covid-19 related restrictions), your funding arrangements will continue as planned. The University has an approved Erasmus+ programme in place for the 2020/21 academic year. 
  • If you are in receipt of UK government support (i.e. via Student Finance agencies) or Oxford funding, this is unaffected by the UK’s departure from the EU and the subsequent implementation period.
  • 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 information on year abroad arrangements which may be impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. 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). Please see below for more guidance on working and studying and paid work in the EU after 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 directly 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 by your faculty, 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 have completed a risk assessment for your Year Abroad with particular focus on potential COVID-19 related disruption, and returned this to the faculty for their validation. Please 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.
  • Further information and updates relating to the Erasmus+ programme at Oxford are available at ox.ac.uk/erasmus

I will be on a compulsory year abroad in 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 European Commission has recently notified UK institutions that they are not currently eligible to apply to renew their Erasmus Charter for the 2021/22 academic year. Subject to any adjustments to existing arrangements, this means that you would not be eligible to receive an Erasmus+ living costs grant for your anticipated study abroad in 2021/22. 

The UK’s participation in Erasmus+ or an alternative programme for 2021/22 and beyond therefore remains uncertain, as it is subject to ongoing negotiations between the UK and the EU. 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 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 in 2021/22. Please see below for more guidance on working, studying and paid work in the EU after 31 December 2020.

Further information and updates relating to the Erasmus+ programme at Oxford are available at ox.ac.uk/erasmus

Will there be any changes to my year abroad activity after 31 December 2020 (the end of the implementation period)?

  • Working and studying in the EU after 31 December 2020
    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 after 31 December 2020:
    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 Living in Europe page and information 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 2021/22

The University is committed to welcoming and supporting EU students in the long term.

Further information for prospective students will be added to this section on a rolling basis as additional information is released by the UK government.

What course fees will I be charged in the academic year 2021/22?

Following an announcement by the Universities Minister on 23 June 2020, EU fee status students starting a course in 2021/22 will no longer be eligible to pay fees at the ‘Home’ rate and will instead be charged the higher ‘Overseas’ rate. This change will not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, who will continue to be charged fees at the ‘Home’ rate for the duration of their course. 

More information will be published on this page as it is confirmed by the government. 

Course fees information for the academic year 2021/22 is available via our Fees, Funding and Scholarships Search for undergraduate and graduate students and on course pages.

The course fees are 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 2021/22 is available on our website and is also be available in the applicable version of the University’s terms and conditions.

Will fee status eligibility change?

The UK government has confirmed that EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals commencing their studies in 2021/22 will no longer be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status.

Will I be able to apply for student loan support?

EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for undergraduate, or postgraduate loan support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. Please note that Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland will continue to be eligible to access benefits including student fee loan support on the same basis as currently.

Will Oxford University scholarship funding provision be affected?

The changes announced by the UK government will have an impact on the eligibility criteria for some University scholarship funding. However, the University has a wide range of graduate scholarships, covering all fees statuses, nationalities and courses, for example, the Clarendon Fund for which all full-time and part-time DPhil and Master’s offer holders are eligible to be considered. A small number of undergraduate scholarships are available. More information on funding is available on the undergraduate scholarships page and on the graduate applicant funding pages.

Will University bursary provision for undergraduates be affected?

As EU students will no longer be eligible for Home fee status or student loan fee support through Student Finance, they will no longer be eligible to be assessed for bursary support from Oxford. Please note that Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland will continue to be eligible to be assessed for an Oxford Bursary on the same basis as currently, provided their household income information remains available to the University through the UK government’s Student Finance agency.

Will UKRI Research Council funding be affected?

UKRI has confirmed that research councils will be able to award postgraduate studentships to both home and international students, now including EU, from 2021/22. Awards will include fees (up to that research council’s UK rate) and living stipend. There is a cap of 30% on non-UK awards.

 More information is available on on the Research Councils tab on the Oxford funding webpage.

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

Oxford remains wholly committed 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. However, the UK’s participation in Erasmus+ beyond the 2020/21 academic year remains uncertain, as it is subject to ongoing negotiations between the UK and the EU.

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 for those students who will be abroad in 2021/22. 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.

Further information and updates relating to the Erasmus+ programme at Oxford are available online and National Agency updates can be found on the British Council’s dedicated webpage.

Will I need a student visa?

If you do not have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme you will need a student visa.  A new Student Route was launched on 5 October 2020 for EU, EEA and Swiss students starting from 1 January 2021 onwards and further details are on the student visa webpages. This will require a visa application fee of £348 and to pay the immigration health surcharge of £470 times the number of years of your course, all paid in advance. 

For UK national students starting in the academic year 2021/22 who have been living in the EEA, Switzerland or Gibraltar and will return to England to study

UK nationals who have been living in the EEA, Switzerland or Gibraltar and are returning to England to study

UK nationals living in the EEA, Switzerland or Gibraltar from December 2020 until the first day of their course and for the three years before the first day of their course will also be charged Home/ROI fees. Children of UK nationals will also be eligible on the same terms, even if they are not themselves UK nationals, as long as both they and their parent meet the above criteria.

More information on this can be found on the Graduate fee status page and the Undergraduate fee status page

Where can I find information and advice on studying in the UK and on the implications of the UK leaving the European Union?

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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