With the outcome of a “no-deal Brexit” becoming increasingly likely, the University has been taking steps toward preparation.
The potential impact on EU students has been considerably mitigated due to the actions of the Scottish Government. EU undergraduate students entering before the 2020/21 term are still guaranteed tuition, regardless of whether a deal is reached. They will also be eligible for SAAS for that period. Post-graduates, however, will pay UK rates, although unlike many UK students they will be eligible for SAAS.
There is also concern for general travel. UK students may require healthcare insurance to travel to some EU countries, however, all staff will be covered by the University so long as they have the right documents. Both EU and UK students and staff will require passports with an expiration date further than six months away in order to travel. Additionally, many EU students and staff have received “settled status”, and applications for this status are still open.
There is concern about the trade of goods in a no-deal scenario. The campus may be affected as perishable goods and certain research instruments may no longer be available or be available only in limited quantities. While stockpiling is a potential solution to many of these issues, many research components simply cannot be stored for long periods of time; for example, certain gasses and chemicals.
The University is recommending that researchers continue to make use of grants from the EU until the withdrawal, however these may not be available in a post-Brexit situation. The University is hoping to obtain more grants and research partnerships throughout the UK, in hopes of replacing ones lost as a result of a no-deal scenario.
No one, including the University, know if Erasmus will continue to be available. Students who have begun their Erasmus year before the Halloween deadline will be covered, according to the EU Commission. There has yet to be any indication of 2020 Erasmus programmes, however the University has advised students to plan as if they are still happening. Hopefully, this is a sign that the University is confident that their lobbying efforts will allow for these programmes to continue. The other European programs the University is hoping to maintain are mostly made on a bilateral basis with other institutions. This means they will certainly be impacted as far as travel and visas; however, it is unclear how well these partnerships will be able to be maintained.