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Birkbeck and Brexit

What is the current situation?

  • The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and completed a transition period on 31 December 2020. A deal to clarify many aspects of the UK-EU relationship has been made. Read a summary of the key areas.

What is going to change with Brexit?

  • The UK government has announced that EU students starting in the 2020/21 academic year will still have guaranteed Home fee status and financial support for the duration of their course in England. Read more about government student support in England.
  • This is the last year in which all EU students are guaranteed to be eligible for Home student fees and financial support for the duration of their course. From the 2021/22 academic year, only students with Pre Settled or Settled Status and three years' residency will be eligible for financial support. Read more about the government requirements for the 2021/22 academic year

Can I talk to someone about this?

  • If you are a prospective student and would like to talk to someone about preparing to study at Birkbeck, please contact the Student Advice Service.
  • If you are a staff member, please talk to your manager in the first instance. Our HR staff will be ready to support managers in resolving queries and issues as they arise - check the HR guidance for staff. Please see SharePoint for further details. 

Tuition fees

  • I am an EU student already enrolled on a course at Birkbeck - what does this mean for me? Brexit will not affect on your fees. You will be charged the Home student fee for the duration of your course. If your course ends after 31 December 2020, you should apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Find out about fees and funding for undergraduates and postgraduates.
  • I am thinking of enrolling in 2020/21 - will the tuition fees be changed in my first year or subsequent years? EU students who register at Birkbeck in 2020/21 (either as a new or continuing student) will be charged the Home student fee for the duration of their course. However, if your course ends after 31 December 2020, you should apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Find out about fees and funding for undergraduates and postgraduates.
  • I had a place for 2019/20, but I have deferred my entry until 2020/21. Will my tuition fees be affected? EU students who enrol at Birkbeck in 2020/21 (either as a new or continuing student) will be charged the Home student fee for the duration of their course. However, if your course ends after 31 December 2020, you should apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Find out about fees and funding for undergraduates and postgraduates.
  • I had a place for Autumn 2020/21, but I have deferred my entry until Autumn 2021/22. Will my tuition fees be affected? New EU students who enrol at Birkbeck in 2021/22 will no longer be eligible for Home fee status. The exception to this will be those who have Pre Settled or Settled Status and three years' residency. More information on these requirements will be published shortly. In the meantime, read the government's current guidance.

EU Tuition Fees 2021/22

  • The tuition fee arrangements for EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals coming to the UK to start their degree in the 2021/22 academic year are changing. 
  • Student loans for tuition fees will no longer be available, and by default the higher international student fee will apply. This change does not include Irish Nationals, who will have access to students loans and will pay the lower Home fee as before.
  • As part of our commitment to enhancing the global reach of Birkbeck, we have launched a package of generous postgraduate, country-specific tuition fee scholarships. Find out more about our Birkbeck Global Future Scholarships
  • If you already reside in the UK
    • If you lived in the UK before 31 December 2020, you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. You can read more in our Visa/Immigration status section below.
    • If you are successfully granted settled status, you will be eligible to pay Home tuition fee rates and access student loans.  

Student loans

  • I am an EU student who would like to do an undergraduate course at Birkbeck starting in 2020/21 - will I be able to access a student loan to cover my tuition fees? Yes - the rules regarding student loans to cover tuition fees will remain unchanged for EU students who join Birkbeck during 2020/21. You will be able to apply for a tuition fee loan for the duration of your course.
  • I am an EU student already enrolled on a course at Birkbeck - will I be able to access a loan for the rest of my course? You will be able to access tuition fee loans for the duration of your course. EU nationals or their family members, currently in higher education or who have applied for a place at university in August 2020 to study a course that attracts student support, and who are assessed as eligible to receive loans and/or grants from the Student Loans Company, will continue to receive these loans and grants until they finish their course. Find out more on the GOV.uk website.
  • I had a place for 2019/20 but I deferred my entry until 2020/21 - will I still be able to access a student loan to cover my tuition fees? Yes, the government has decided that EU students starting their course in 2020/21 will still have access to student loans to cover tuition fees.
  • I had a place for 2020-21 but I deferred my entry until 2021/22 - will I still be able to access a student loan to cover my tuition fees? No, the UK Government has decided that EU students starting their course in 2021/22 will no longer have access to student loans to cover tuition fees. 
  • I am an EU student thinking of enrolling on a postgraduate course in 2020/21. Will I be able to access a loan? If you are an EU national who has been living in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for at least three years before the start of your course, you are eligible to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 if you are starting a course in 2020/21. Apply now for the postgraduate loan.

Student experience

  • Will coronavirus (COVID-19) affect my ability to travel to the UK and start my course? What if I can't travel to the UK until 2021? 
    • The COVID-19 pandemic means that this academic year needs to start differently. We have put plans in place to adapt to the challenges that the pandemic has caused. 
    • For more information about how we will provide learning for the Autumn Term please visit our coronavirus information page.
  • Will I still feel welcome at Birkbeck now that the UK is leaving the EU?
    • Students from over 120 countries study at Birkbeck, attracted to our vibrant academic community in central London. London is the most diverse, welcoming city in the world and voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the EU. By studying in London, you will establish a network of friends from across the EU and beyond that will last a lifetime.
    • At Birkbeck, we believe diversity is about valuing the differences between people and recognising the strengths and benefits of a diverse, inclusive society, workforce and student body. On its own, diversity does not ensure equality of opportunity, but valuing diversity, promoting inclusiveness and tolerance of difference will help us to achieve this.
    • Birkbeck is committed to providing the highest quality academic and working environment, where all staff, students, visitors and contractors are employed, welcomed, respected and treated in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner. Read our Equal Opportunity and Diversity Statement.
  • Will the UK leaving the EU affect my accommodation options? This does not affect where you will be able to live during your studies at Birkbeck. There are several options available to you, including halls of residence and private accommodation. Find out more about accommodation options.

Erasmus Grant

  • The UK government has withdrawn from future Erasmus+ schemes.
  • Birkbeck received funds for the Erasmus+ 2020 Project, and students and staff can continue to receive Erasmus grants until the end of the project in May 2022. We will also welcome incoming Erasmus+ students during this period.  
  • We are awaiting more details of the Turing Scheme, the UK’s Erasmus+ replacement scheme, and how our students and staff can continue to benefit from international mobility opportunities.  

Visas / Immigration status

  • How will the UK leaving the EU affect my immigration status?
    • Students on courses ending after 30 June 2021: If you arrived in the UK before 1 January 2021 and your course is due to end after 30 June 2021, then you should apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. If you do not have settled or pre-settled status in the UK after 30 June 2021, you will be required to apply for a Student visa. Please note - those with indefinite leave to remain in the UK do not need to apply for this scheme. 
    • Irish citizens have the right to remain in the UK independent of EU law, and as such do not need to apply for the scheme. Irish nationals will be charged the Home student fee for tuition fee and loan purposes. However, any non-EEA family members will need to apply.
    • Students on courses that ended before 31 December 2020: If your course ended before 31 December 2020, it is your decision if you wish to apply for the EU settlement scheme. However, if you are eligible to apply and wish to undertake further study beyond this date, you may wish to do so.
  • What would happen if my circumstances were to change and I needed to move outside the UK once I had started a course at Birkbeck? If concerns about moving away from London are preventing you from applying this year, please note that Birkbeck provides ways for you to continue your studies.
    • Birkbeck offers a variety of postgraduate and undergraduate distance learning courses.
    • Birkbeck can also make arrangements for credit transfer to other institutions such as the Open University. It should be noted that classification of an Open University award would be based only on the grades achieved through studying Open University modules. For more information about credit transfer to other institutions, please contact the Student Advice Service.

EU Settlement Scheme

  • If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, which will allow you to live in the UK after 30 June 2021.
  • If you arrived in the UK and your course is due to end after 30 June 2021, then you can apply for the EU settlement Scheme. If you do not have settled or pre-settled status in the UK after 30 June 2021, you will be required to apply for a visa under the UK’s new immigration system, coming into effect in January 2021.
  • The application process is straightforward and free and, if you are successful, you will obtain ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled status’.
  • The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.

Working in the UK

  • How will the UK leaving the EU affect my right to work in the UK during my studies? During the transition period, which runs to 31 December 2020, EU students will continue to have the right to work while they study. During this period, the UK will remain in the EU's customs union and single market - but will be outside its political institutions, and there will be no British members of the European Parliament. As long as you are living in the UK before 31 December 2020, you will continue to be able to work after this date but will be required to apply for a pre-settlement or settlement visa before 30 June 2021. 
  • As an international visa holder, will the UK leaving the EU affect my visa? It is unlikely that those who currently hold valid visas to study or remain in the UK will be affected. Usually, changes to the law occur after the event and do not apply to decisions or circumstances retrospectively. 

Research funding

  • I hold an EU research grant: how will this be affected? The UK’s status as a full participating member of the Horizon 2020 programme has not changed as a result of the UK's decision to leave the EU. Existing project grants and contracts will be honoured unless or until advised otherwise. 

EU collaborations

  • I participate in EU-funded networks as part of my research: how will my participation be affected? EU-funded networks will continue to exist until advised otherwise. At this stage, like all UK universities, we cannot know exactly how the many connections our university has with the EU will be affected in the long term, but Birkbeck remains committed to our EU and international partnerships.