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 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.
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.
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.
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”).
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.
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.
Please see the Erasmus Students section below.
No, we will honour any bursaries or stipends you have been offered by the University for entry in 2019/20.
Information on the settlement scheme can be found in the links in the introduction.
Under EU law you have a right to be in the UK to study and work and are not required to have proof of this entitlement. This right will remain whilst the UK remains a member state of the EU which will be for at least until 31 October 2019 and during any transitional period which may be agreed as part of a withdrawal deal. So far the UK government has sought to assure EU citizens currently in the UK that their rights will be protected. Under the terms of the proposed withdrawal agreement they have confirmed that EU citizens and their families will be able to apply for 'settled status' now.
For information on how to apply for settled status please see Stay in the UK after it leaves the EU ('settled status'): step by step
The government has also published plans in the event of a no deal Brexit and about which students should make themselves aware.
No – if you are current student your fees will not change for your current course.
Yes - as a current student, there will be no change to your access to student loans as a result of the vote and you will continue to receive student finance for the duration of your course.
Yes. There will be no immediate change to your right to work as a result of the vote. Please be aware however that the University advises full time students not to work more than 15 hours a week, regardless of visa status.
No - As a current student, there will be no change to any scholarship you were awarded when you started your programme. If you receive any scholarships which are assessed annually you will continue to be considered for those scholarships in line with their criteria
Please see the Erasmus Students section below.
The UK government has guaranteed that EU students beginning their studies in 2018/19 and 2019/20 will continue to be treated in the same way for the duration of their studies – i.e. their fees/immigration status will not change as a result of Brexit.
It is hoped that this guarantee will be extended to students beginning their studies in 2020/21 and possibly beyond but this has not yet been confirmed. This page will be updated accordingly when more information is available.
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.
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:
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:
In addition, the European Commission has published a press release and guidance on the no-deal scenario at:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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..
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.
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11