EU student applications drop after Brexit vote



Andrew McCluskey

Recently released statistics from UCAS have revealed that applications from EU students to early deadline courses in the 2017 application cycle have significantly dropped in the wake of the EU referendum result in June.

Despite an overall increase in early applicants, the number of EU students applying before the early deadline has decreased by 9%. This contrasts with last year’s 8% increase in EU applicants, which followed several years of increases.

The early UCAS deadline on 15 October applies to competitive courses in the UK such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, as well as to any course at Oxford or Cambridge. Fewer than 11% of the year’s expected total number of applicants have submitted their applications. The deadline for the remaining courses is in January.
Despite the decrease in EU students, the overall number of applicants grew by 1%. There was a slight increase of approximately 1% in non-EU students applying which is in line with previous years. An increase of 3% in home applicants made up the numbers for the overall growth. This number of UK applicants seems to have bounced back after several year on year reductions.

Last month, the UK Government guaranteed funding for EU students currently studying in the UK and for those applying in the 2017 cycle. This means they will have access to the same financial support as EU students in recent years. Many believe that the move may have came too late to reassure those applying for early courses, as it was announced just days before the applications were due.

A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow said: “The decision to leave the European Union will provide many challenges to all sectors, higher education included. We are involved in detailed planning to understand the potential impact that Brexit may have for us, and we are doing all that we can in our interactions with government at all levels to ensure that the voice of the University of Glasgow is heard, understood, and acted upon.

“The University wants to continue to attract the most talented students from the EU and indeed beyond the EU. We will continue to actively recruit from European countries and ensure that prospective students continue to see Glasgow and Scotland as pro-European, and outward-looking.

“At this early point in the admissions cycle it’s too early to know if there will be a fall in EU applications.”

One EU student at the University of Glasgow, Stefano Sesia, told The Glasgow Guardian that he was concerned about the impact of Brexit on prospective students, saying, “The life of the student abroad is a bit tough sometimes, especially when we come here without any friends or connections. We happily make up for this when we are offered great future prospects and this quality education, but I fear that this overall uncertainty is really scary for any prospective student.”


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