Brexit: Your rights explained

Published

Credit: George Hodan

Georgina Hayes
Editor

We’ve teamed up with the University to answer some burning Brexit questions you may have

With Brexit looming and uncertainty spreading, The Glasgow Guardian has teamed up with the University of Glasgow in an attempt to explain your rights as a student or staff member all in one place. Whether you have questions about your fee status as an EU student already studying here, concerns about your rights to stay or schemes like Erasmus, or questions about studying more internationally, we’ve tried to answer any questions you may have as best we can.

Fee status explanation for EU undergraduate students already enrolled at the University

“Undergraduate students currently enrolled at the University and receiving tuition fee fundingthrough Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), will continue to be eligible to do so for theduration of their degree i.e. there will be no change from their current circumstances.”

Fee status explanation/options/reassurances for EU undergraduate students who haveaccepted an offer of study at UofG to begin in September 2019

“The Scottish Government confirmed in February 2018 that all EU fee status Undergraduatesbeginning a degree at Glasgow (or any Higher Education institution in Scotland) in 2019 will beeligible for tuition fee funding for the duration of their degree through SAAS i.e. there will be nochange from the current arrangements.”

Any kind of explanation/reassurances of fee status for EU students considering anundergraduate degree at the UofG in the future

“If a Brexit agreement with a transition arrangement is ratified by the UK and the EU, then thecurrent situation regarding fee status and free movement around the EU is likely to continue without change for the duration of whatever the transition period is. In the event of Brexit with noagreement in place, the UK and Scottish Governments will confirm the immigration process and fee status for EU nationals wishing to study in the UK from 2020 onwards as a matter of urgency. This may mean the introduction of tuition fees for Undergraduate students from the EU, however there has been no discussion let alone decision on this from the government. The University of Glasgow is a proudly international institution, committed to being open and welcoming to students from all nations. We will continue to offer the widest possible opportunity to study and succeed at Glasgow and very much value the contribution of our EU staff and students. For up-to-date information, advice and guidance as decisions are made, always check www.glasgow.ac.uk/study/eu.”

Fee status explanation for EU postgraduate students already enrolled at the University

“As with Undergraduate studies, any EU Postgraduate students already here will see no difference in their fee status or funding opportunities, the main one being the Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan of up to £5,500 through SAAS.”

Fee status explanation/options/reassurances for EU postgraduate students who haveaccepted an offer of study at UofG

“As with Undergraduate studies, any students starting a Postgraduate degree in 2019 will still besubject to the Home/EU tuition fee rate, and have the same access to funding opportunities through SAAS, as in current and previous years.”

Any kind of explanation/reassurances of fee status for EU students considering apostgraduate degree at the UofG in the future

“Again, it’s sadly impossible to say much more than the Undergraduate message above. As things stand, the University cannot give assurances but we reiterate that it is very much Glasgow’s position that we want to continue to welcome the best and brightest students from across the world to study here, and we will continue to argue the case with the appropriate authorities.”

Reassurances or instructions for current EU students at the University concerned aboutwhether or not they will have to apply to stay studying in UK

“The latest information we have from the Government is that students who are here now will nothave to conform to any new immigration regulations.

Reassurances or instructions for students soon to be studying at the University on whatkind of VISAs they will have to apply for etc

“As per the latest information, EU students beginning in 2019 will not need visas nor do anythingdifferent than EU students do currently. If a ‘transition period’ is confirmed, this will remain thesituation for as long as the transition period lasts.”

Brief explanation of rights for current EU students soon to graduate who wish to continue living in the UK

“EU citizens who wish to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 will need to apply to the ‘EU Settlement Scheme.’ The EU Settlement Scheme is running as a pilot scheme just now and is slated to fully open for applications on March 30 2019. If you have been living continuously in the UK for five years, you can gain ‘settled status’ and if less than five years, you can gain ‘pre-settled status’. As soon as you reach the five year threshold you can change your status to ‘settled’. (More information on this for staff is contained in the final question/answer.)”

How will a Brexit outcome impact Erasmus?

“This is the best source for up to date information: https://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/brexit-update.What is most likely, in the event of Britain leaving the EU, is that the UK will continue to honour all commitments made for the 2019 and 2020 Erasmus+ academic years. The UK government has previously published a statement saying that it would underwrite any Erasmus+ funding forproposals submitted before Britain’s exit from the EU. There is a small risk that inbound students from our EU partner universities will not receive an Erasmus grant, because there is no commitment – as yet – to underwrite their funding. This could have an impact on the scheme, which relies on balanced bilateral exchanges, but the University is confident this can be mitigated.

“There are many countries which are not in the EU (indeed, some not in Europe at all) which areParticipating or Partner Countries in the Erasmus+ scheme as it stands. It is most likely that the UK would negotiate to remain part of the scheme in a way similar to these countries.”

How will a Brexit outcome impact study abroad in non-EU countries?

“The University does not foresee a negative impact on study abroad in non-EU countries, setting aside any fluctuations in exchange rate etc. Glasgow has over 80 bi-lateral exchange agreements with institutions across the world. Its reputation and quality of research and teaching make it an attractive destination for exchange. There is growing demand for non-EU destinations – and the Expectation is that this will increase.”

How will the University seek to help both staff and students from the EU in a Brexitoutcome?

“The University remains focused on keeping staff informed and supported through regular meetings, written and digital communications and information which is regularly updated on our webpages: https://www.gla.ac.uk/explore/euinformation/.

“Colleagues have been given detailed information on the Government’s commitment to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members currently living in the UK. This includes the right to live and work here, along with providing access to public services such as healthcare and benefits. To retain and secure these rights, staff have been advised of the new EU Settlement Scheme that will replace the current Treaty rights of EU citizens that will cease to exist when the UK leaves the EU. Staff have also been advised of the transition phase that will extend until 30 June 2021 which means that EU citizens who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to apply for Settled Status. This will enable staff colleagues and their families affected by these changes to obtain the UK immigration status required in order to remain in the UK permanently.

“The EU Settlement Scheme, which the University supports, is currently in a pilot phase with plans in place for the scheme to open in full on 30 March 2019. All non UK EU staff affected by these proposed changes have been contacted directly to both confirm the University’s participation in the pilot and to explain the eligibility criteria. Detailed guidance on the scheme and application process has been produced and communicated email alerts and is on our EU staff web pages: https://www.gla.ac.uk/explore/euinformation/staff/.

“The application process requires the use an android device, which can read passport/residence card biometric data. Recognising that some colleagues will not have access to such a device, the University has made android tablets available with the required app downloaded to assist with any applications.”