We continue to value all our colleagues and remain committed to supporting our staff whilst recognising their contribution to the University. We will continue to welcome staff from across the EU and further afield to support the international community at the University of Aberdeen.
For information and guidance related to current and prospective students, please visit our Brexit section.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I am a member of staff and an EU citizen. How will Brexit affect me?
We appreciate that EU staff may have a number of questions about how the UK’s exit from the EU might affect them and their families longer term. Whilst all the answers may not be known at this stage in the Brexit negotiations, we have developed an FAQ document to assist with questions. This can be viewed here.
We provided one-to-one sessions with an immigration lawyer in 2017 and again in January 2019, to ensure that EU staff have an opportunity to seek the appropriate legal advice.
Will the University still be able to employ staff from other EU/EEA countries after Brexit?
Yes. If a withdrawal agreement is in place, the immigration status of EU staff who already work here, or arrive before 31 December 2020, will not change and EU nationals will be able to apply for 'settled status' or 'pre-settled status' through the government's EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme will continue to be implemented in the event of a no-deal Brexit, to allow EU citizens living in the UK before 29 March 2019 to continue working here. Those arriving after this date will be able to stay in the UK for three months before applying for European Temporary Leave to Remain which extends residence for up to three years.
What happens in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
In the event of Britain exiting the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place (exit date is currently set for 29 March 2019), the UK Government has announced that free movement will end. However, the Government has also confirmed that temporary transitional arrangements will apply from 30 March 2019 to provide some continuity for EU citizens in the UK. The transition period will be in place until 31 December 2020. The Home Office has advised EU nationals to ensure that they have six months’ validity on their passports before travelling after 29 March, should there be a no-deal Brexit.
What will happen with EU funded projects?
Any staff holding EU grants should continue with their projects as normal. Existing projects and grants will continue to be honoured unless advised otherwise.
Can I still apply for funding from the EU?
UK participants who receive Horizon 2020 funding from the European Commission, or have submitted a bid before the EU exit and are notified of their success after exit, will be covered by the UK government’s underwrite guarantee for the lifetime of the projects. This will support UK participants to continue to take part in Horizon 2020 projects even in a no-deal scenario, subject to continued eligibility. Further information from HM Treasury can be obtained here.
Will the Erasmus+ programme be affected?
The University of Aberdeen continues to lobby for the UK’s full participation in Erasmus+. We are committed to our international partnerships and to providing international opportunities for our students and staff.
At the current time of writing, 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.
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.
Although it had been understood that the UK Government would underwrite Erasmus+ funding for UK universities in the event of a no deal Brexit, the latest Government guidance does not clarify the circumstances and detail of how this guarantee would be implemented, leading many to question whether students and staff going abroad in 2019/20 would indeed be eligible for funding. We are seeking clarification and will continue to communicate with staff on the latest developments. We are working with partner universities across Europe to allow exchanges to go ahead as planned, so that we can minimise disruption.
Information for Erasmus+ partner institutions
The University of Aberdeen is committed to and values our international partnerships. Until further notice, we will continue to welcome your staff to Aberdeen under Erasmus+. We hope to continue our valued partnership beyond Brexit, whether that is under the auspices of Erasmus+ or another framework.
For updates from the UK National Agency for Erasmus+, click here.
For information on the UK funding guarantee, click here.
- Brexit Update for EU/EEA Staff
Further to the outcome of the EU referendum and the triggering of article 50, the UK Government is continuing with negotiations. We appreciate that staff may have a number of questions about how the UK leaving the EU may affect them and their families in the longer term.
The UK Government and EU representatives have agreed in principle to the following regarding citizen’s rights for EU nationals living in the UK:
- EU citizens (and their family members) who by the 31st December 2020, have been continuously and lawfully living in the UK for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by obtaining ‘settled status’. This will mean they can continue to live in the UK and have access to public funds and services.
- EU citizens (and their family members) who arrive by the 31st December 2020 but will not have been living here lawfully for the 5 year qualifying period when the UK leaves the EU, will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled status’ until they have the 5 years continuous residence in the UK.
- Applications will require evidence under three categories: Identity (applicant will need to prove their identity, Eligibility (applicant will need to evidence that they meet the residence criteria and Suitability (application will need to declare that they have no serious criminal conviction).
- Following a phased introduction later in 2018, the proposed Settlement Scheme is intended to open in March 2019 with the deadline for applications being 30th June 2021.
The Government previously stated that the Scheme has been designed to be user-friendly and to facilitate fast-track registrations with online and digital submissions being available. The Government has provided reassurance that the default position will be to grant settled status rather than to refuse, with applications only being rejected grounds of criminality. The fees to apply (subject to approval by Parliament) are £65 for those 16 years or over and £32.50 for those under 16 years of age. For those who obtain ‘pre-settled status’, it is proposed that there will be no further fee once the individual has obtained the 5 years continuous residence.
We will publish staff communication updates as the arrangements for EU/EEA nationals becomes clearer.
Meanwhile, the full detail of the Government’s Statement of Intent regarding the Scheme is available at the link below. In addition, there is also detailed guidance on the documents that will be accepted as evidence to support applications within Annex A of the document.
A shorter overview of the Scheme is also available at the following link:
If you have any queries please contact Sharon Cassidy, HR Partner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01224 273981.
- No deal Brexit - risks to research funding
On the 12th of March 2019, MPs voted against the withdrawal deal that was agreed with the European Commission, increasing the risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. On the 13th of March, MPs voted against exiting the EU without a deal. However, it is up to the European Commission to agree to an extension and negotiate a new deal. In these circumstances, we need to be aware of and prepare for the risk of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
This means that applications submitted after the 29th of March may not be considered for funding. If the grant is being co-ordinated by a UK PI, it may be that the Co-ordinator must change to a PI in an eligible EU country. All network grants must have a minimum of three eligible EU countries, so some consortia may be at risk of being ineligible unless another EU partner is included.
Participation in network grants (this includes most calls that fall under Horizon 2020) would still be possible as a Third Country.
Most Marie Curie Individual Fellowships and ERC grants are likely to be at risk of not receiving further funding from the EU in the event of a no deal. We would be ineligible to apply to these schemes in future calls if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
However, we have taken practical steps to minimise the risk. For instance, we have submitted all Horizon 2020 and FP7 live grants to the UK government through the UKRI portal to avail of the underwrite guarantee that the UK government has committed to. This means that the UK government has given assurances that in the event of a no-deal, any funding due to us on live grants will be covered by the UK government. We are liaising with relevant organisations for information on live grants that do not fall under these schemes.
ERASMUS+ grants are also covered by the underwrite guarantee and as requested by the UK Cabinet Office we will register our projects on their online portal.
While the risks to research funding in case of a no-deal is very real, some issues will be resolvable once there is certainty on the outcome of the process of exiting the EU. Even a no-deal Brexit should not prevent staff from cooperating with partners in Europe in future.
For queries contact: Europeemail@example.com
- EU Settlement Scheme Public Testing Phase
The EU Settlement Scheme is currently in a period of Public Testing (from 22nd January 2019) which is open to EU citizens who have a valid passport with the biometric chip contained within it and to non-EU citizen family members who hold a valid biometric residence card.
This Public Testing phase requires the use of the application that is currently only available on android devices. The University does have an android device available for those who do not have access to this facility personally.
The Public Testing phase is voluntary to allow the Home Office to continue to assess how the system works ahead of the official launch in March 2019.
Please note that this phase of testing is not currently available to citizens from the EEA or Switzerland. It is anticipated that EEA and Swiss citizens will be able to apply once the Scheme fully launches in March 2019.
Further guidance on the Settlement Scheme can be found at the following link –
- The EU Settlement Scheme
EU citizens who by the 31st December 2020, have been continuously and lawfully resident in the UK for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by obtaining ‘settled status’. This will mean they can continue to live in the UK and have access to public funds and services.
Should EU citizens that have less than the 5 years of residence will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled status’ until they have the 5 years continuous residence in the UK.
Applications will require evidence under three categories: Identity (applicant will need to prove their identity, Eligibility (applicant will need to evidence that they meet the residence criteria and Suitability (application will need to declare that they have no serious criminal conviction).
The Scheme is currently in a period of Public Testing with the commitment that it will open by 30 March 2019. At present, the Scheme is accessible via an application that is compatible with Android devices only. The University has an android device available for use should it be required.
On 21 January 2019, Theresa May announced that the fees will be waived for applications made in March 2019.
Should any EU citizens currently hold Permanent Residence, you will be required to apply and essentially transfer this status to settled status by 31 Dec 2020. Permanent Residence will no longer be valid after 31 December 2020.
Full guidance on the Settlement Scheme can be found here –
If you have any queries, please contact Sharon Cassidy, HR Partner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01224 273981.