Brexit and the UK Student Population

Jordan Darlington·27 February 2019·4 min read
Brexit and the UK Student Population

With the Brexit deadline fast approaching, an air of uncertainty surrounds the UK’s entire student population as both home and international students stand to lose out on what's been taken for granted for so long. From European-funded institutions and research to study abroad grants, the European Union has certainly been an asset to most of us. 

Determining Factors 

The future is dependent on whether the UK can make a deal with the EU and the contents of that potential deal. If no deal is made, we will have what is commonly referred to as a ‘No Deal Brexit’ and a complete separation from the EU will take place. However, if a deal is made, the UK may have the option to remain within the European Single Market and continue to enjoy certain benefits of being European (but even this cannot be assured…).  

Our recent survey found that around 65% of students are worried about Brexit and that around 73% believe that it will have a negative effect on UK universities. Furthermore, multiple participants voiced concerns regarding funding and freedom of movement - both of which the EU has played a crucial role in. 

The important question is: How will Brexit change this? 

International Students 

In theory, international students shouldn’t be majorly affected by Brexit. They’re not normally reliant on EU funding and this won’t change in the coming months. 

EU and EEA Students 

The future for EU and EEA students is completely dependent on the outcome of Brexit. If the end result is that of a ‘No Deal Brexit’, it's possible that EU and EEA students will merge with International students and therefore have visa restrictions and increased tuition fees. However, if a deal is made, this outcome could b very different. 

Home Students 

The main way in which Brexit will be felt by Home students is in their access to funding and to study and work placements in the event of a ‘No Deal Brexit’. The European Union is a major contributor to research funding at a university level and without freedom of movement, studying and working in EU countries will be much more difficult and costly. 

When speaking with Antonio Ruiz-Sanchez, Vice-dean of International Relations at the University of Córdoba (Spain), he commented that he believes a ‘No Deal Brexit’ will most likely have a negative impact on student populations in the UK and Spain, especially in regard to research funding and student exchanges. 

The Future 

With all of these concerns well considered, universities are making preparations for a ‘No Deal Brexit’. Two innovative approaches have been taken by Lancaster University and Imperial College London: 

  1. Lancaster University is working on opening a campus in Leipzig (Germany) which will assist European students in accessing the UK-based university. 
  1. Imperial College London and The Technical University of Munich are appointing one another’s staff which will assist in accessing both European and UK-based funding. 

Unfortunately, even at this point, the outcome of Brexit can only be speculated and the future is one that will reveal itself in time. Regardless, here at, we endeavour to help every student with their accommodation needs!