(The page was last updated on 9 January 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.

BREXIT –Immigration DROP-IN Sessions

The International Student Advisers will be holding drop-in sessions for students with questions about their immigration status and options resulting from Brexit.

The sessions will take place in the Student Advice & Support Office on the top floor of the Students’ Union Building. Simply come to our main reception and let a member of the team know you are there for the Brexit drop in.

No booking is needed and there may be a small wait before you are seen.

Old Aberdeen

Friday 17 January 9am to 1pm
Wednesday 22 January 2pm to 4.30pm
Wednesday 29 January 2pm to 4.30pm


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. You will find more detailed information about these issues below.

I have travel arrangements on and over 31st January 2020. What affect will Brexit have on these?

Will a no-deal Brexit affect my immigration status?

In the event of Britain exiting the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place, the UK Government has announced that free movement will end. However, the Government has also confirmed that temporary transitional arrangements will apply from the date of a no-deal exit, to provide continuity for EU citizens in the UK before the no-deal exit date. The transition period will be in place until 31 December 2020. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the Settlement Scheme will remain open to EU nationals already in the UK before exit, until December 2020.

We would encourage all our students 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.

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.

The Government has provided reassurance that EU nationals in the UK before a no-deal exit will be able to travel in and out of the country 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, should there be a no-deal Brexit.

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 31 December 2020 (in a no-deal scenario) or 30 June 2021 (if there is a deal) 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 a no-deal Brexit?

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 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 a no-deal 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 2019 and 2020 will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students as before and will retain that status for the duration of their studies.

New EU students joining the University from academic year 2021 onwards may be required to pay fees but the Scottish Government has not confirmed this nor what the tuition fee levels will be. We will update these pages as soon as we have more information.

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.

The UK’s participation in the Erasmus+ programme is one of many uncertainties associated with Brexit. There are two main scenarios:

  • If the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement, the UK will participate in Erasmus+ until 2020/21.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, ie no deal, the UK will aim to secure continued participation in Erasmus+, but this is not certain.

If we are in a no deal scenario as of 1 February 2020, we can offer the following reassurances:

  • For Erasmus+ visits in progress at the time of exit – these can be completed as planned, and participants will be eligible for Erasmus+ funding as arranged. This is covered by the European Commission Erasmus+ Contingency Regulation.
  • For Erasmus+ visits that are due to start on or after 1 February 2020 – unless continued Erasmus+ participation has been secured separate to the withdrawal agreement, these visits would no longer be part of the Erasmus+ programme. However, these visits should still go ahead as planned. Outbound participants should be eligible for funding via the UK Government Guarantee. Inbound participants should check with their home university about funding.

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 2020/21, we anticipate some funding being available to support your period abroad, via either the Erasmus+ programme or the UK Government Guarantee, though this funding may be at a lower level than is currently the case. After 2020/21, we do not yet know whether funding will be available to support students going abroad to Europe.

We will continue to lobby the UK Government for a national successor scheme, however, it would be advisable for students interested in going abroad from 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 2020/21 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?

If the UK leaves without a deal, your access to healthcare in the EU will likely change as the EHIC card is unlikely to be valid. We will provide further detail as soon as it is available. 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