(The page was last updated on 10 July 2020)

This page provides practical advice for current students from the EU and other students considering travel to Europe.

If you have any general queries relating to Brexit, please contact brexit@abdn.ac.uk, and they will direct you to the most appropriate source of help.

What does Brexit mean for current undergraduate & postgraduate students?

All our students, including those from the EU and around the world, are valued members of the University of Aberdeen family. We are committed to taking care of them and making their time at the University special.

While Brexit will not change the tuition fee status of current EU students, there may be changes in immigration rules, and access to exchange programmes such as Erasmus+ may change. Your rights to study and live in the UK will not change until 31 December 2020. You will find more detailed information about these issues below.

Should I apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?

We would encourage all our students from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to apply for Settled or Pre-Settled Status which would protect their rights in the UK after Brexit. You can find more information about the Settlement Scheme and how to apply on the UK Government website.

Irish citizens do not need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, but they can if they want to.

You can download the identity verification app to your Android device or an iPhone 8 or later. If you don’t have access to a device that will run the app, the Infohub have an android device that you can use. Just drop in to see them during their opening hours to use the device.

EU nationals in the UK will be able to travel in and out of the country during the transition period using their passports. However, the Home Office has advised EU nationals to ensure that they have six months’ validity on their passports before travelling in future.

You can obtain confirmation that you have been studying in the UK before the date we leave the EU by visiting the Infohub.

How do I apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?

If you are an EU/EEA national already in the UK and want to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021 you should apply for Settled or pre-settled status. See the UK Government website for further information about who should apply and how to submit.

Will EU nationals need a visa to enter the UK after Brexit (deal or no-deal)?

If you are an Irish citizen you will be able to enter the UK without a visa, as now. Other EU/EEA nationals will also be able to enter without a visa. However, to enter and stay beyond December 2020 you will need to either have Settled/Pre-Settled Status (for those EU nationals already in the UK before no-deal exit) or a European Temporary Leave to Remain (valid for 3 years). See UK Government Guidance on visiting the UK after Brexit for further information.

Will UK nationals need a visa to visit Europe after Brexit?

UK nationals should be able to travel to the EU without a visa for short visits up to three months, but there may be additional checks at customs. You can find more information about requirements for travel to EU at UK Government website.

Will Brexit affect my tuition fees?

There will be no change to the fee status of current EU students enrolling in 2019 and 2020, even if there is a no-deal exit from the EU. Students enrolling in September 2020 will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students as before and will retain that status for the duration of their studies.

How does Brexit affect students in the Erasmus+ programme?

The University of Aberdeen continues to lobby for the UK’s full participation in Erasmus+ after Brexit. We are committed to our international partnerships and to providing international opportunities for our students and staff.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will be a full participant in Erasmus+ until the end of the current seven-year funding cycle (2014-2020). This includes funding received under 2020 projects, which covers activities taking place in summer 2020, academic year 2020/21, summer 2021 and the majority of academic year 2021/22 (until 31 May 2022).

We do not yet know if the UK will participate in the next seven-year funding cycle of Erasmus (2021-2027), but we continue to lobby for this outcome. We will also continue to work with our partner institutions in Europe in order to maintain our reciprocal exchanges, regardless of whether we are part of the Erasmus programme or not.

Can I still apply for the Erasmus+ programme?

The University of Aberdeen will continue to encourage students to spend time abroad as part of their degree, be that in Europe or further afield. We are working closely with our European partner institutions to ensure that exchanges can go ahead, regardless of the Brexit outcome.

For those applying for European destinations in summer 2020, academic year 2020/21 and summer 2021, you will continue to have access to Erasmus funding for study exchange and traineeships.

For those applying for European destinations in academic year 2021/22, there are two scenarios;

  • if we are not an Erasmus Programme Country in the next funding cycle, it is likely that we will still be able to part-fund activities from our 2020 project. It may also be possible that we have a national successor scheme, though we don’t yet know what that would look like.
  • if we are an Erasmus Programme Country in the next funding cycle, we would continue to have access to Erasmus funding for study exchange and traineeships.

We will continue to lobby the UK Government for a national successor scheme, however, it would be advisable for students interested in going abroad beyond 2021/22 to budget accordingly.

My programme has a compulsory year abroad – if I am unable to go, will I still get a degree?

Opportunities to spend time abroad will continue to be available post-Brexit, though from 2021/22 access to funding may be limited. Students with a compulsory period abroad would be advised to budget accordingly.

Please note that those spending a semester or year abroad would continue to pay their tuition fees to the University of Aberdeen, so there are no tuition fees due to a host institution; however, you should expect to cover other living costs such as accommodation, food, books, etc (as you would if you were in Aberdeen).

Students with concerns about the affordability of spending time abroad would be advised to contact the Go Abroad team to discuss their options.

Information for our Erasmus+ partner institutions in Europe

The University of Aberdeen is committed to and values our international partnerships. Until further notice, we will continue to welcome your students to Aberdeen under Erasmus+. We hope to continue our valued partnership beyond Brexit, whether that is under the auspices of Erasmus+ or another framework.

As UK national, will I need health insurance to travel to the EU?

Your EHIC will continue to be valid in the EU during the transition period (until 31 December 2020). However, we would advise you to buy travel insurance which includes healthcare treatment when travelling to EU countries, just as you would when visiting a non-EU country. See the NHS website for further information about travel abroad.

As a current EU student will I need health insurance in the UK after a no-deal Brexit?

We would advise our current EU students to apply for Settled/Pre-Settled status as this protects both your immigration status and access to healthcare.

Does Brexit affect my right to work while studying?

There is no change to your right to work in the UK. During the transition period the UK remains a member of the EU and remains bound by EU legislation.

After Brexit will my qualifications still be recognised across Europe?

Recognition of academic qualifications will continue for EU citizens living in the UK and vice versa. The UK has indicated that it will also continue to recognise EU professional qualifications after the UK’s departure from the EU. The recognition of academic qualifications falls under the European Higher Education Area and is a voluntary commitment which is not linked to EU membership, so it should not be formally affected by Brexit.

How might Brexit affect my employment prospects after graduation?

The populations of member states of the EU are entitled to free movement of labour across Europe. However, if the UK is no longer subject to free movement of labour, it could be harder for UK nationals to secure work in any one of the remaining countries of the EU.

As a result, visas or work permits may be required to work in Europe, which may make securing a job in Europe less straightforward than it is currently. This would also apply for EU nationals seeking employment in the UK.

Much will depend on the deal that is reached when the UK leaves the EU and any potential deals may still include free movement as a condition. But regardless of what happens, the Careers and Employability Service will be there to support all our students.

If you have further questions about your status in relation to Brexit, please contact brexit@abdn.ac.uk