EU students considering Manchester

Following the UK's decision to leave the European Union you may be feeling uncertain about what Brexit will mean for you as a prospective student in the UK.

The University of Manchester is, and will remain, not just a UK but also a global university that embraces staff, students, and academic and business partnerships from across the world. 

As a University, we value the intellectual and cultural contribution EU students, members of staff and partners make to our international community.  

The process for the UK to leave the EU is ongoing and while there is some uncertainty, we want to make sure you have access to the latest information.  This page will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Date of last update: 21 January 2020. The information below was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing, but is subject to change.  

Background and context

  • Following a referendum on membership of the European Union, the UK voted to leave on 23 June 2016.
  • The UK government invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union on 29 March 2017, formally commencing the process of leaving the EU; this meant the originally intended Exit Day (the date of the UK leaving the EU) was 29 March 2019.
  • The UK government and the European Council negotiated a Withdrawal Agreement; this was endorsed by the other 27 EU member states but not by the UK Parliament.
  • Following a series of parliamentary votes, the UK formally requested, and was granted, two extensions to the Article 50 period; the current date for the UK to leave the EU is 31 January 2020. The legislation setting out the terms of the UK’s exit (the withdrawal agreement) is currently passing through parliament.
  • On the Exit Day (currently 31 January 2020), the UK will either leave the EU ‘with a deal’ (ie the withdrawal agreement is ratified and a transition period will be implemented prior to a full departure) or ‘without a deal’ (ie the withdrawal agreement remains unratified and the UK’s relationship with the other 27 EU member states defaults to WTO rules after Exit Day).
  • If the UK leaves the EU on 31 January ‘with a deal’, the withdrawal agreement sets out that there will be a transition period starting from the date of exit and ending on December 2020. The UK government has stated that it intends to negotiate a new relationship with the EU during this period, but the nature of this new relationship has not yet been defined.
  • Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, EU students will still be able to come to the UK to study at university, but the practical arrangements and mechanisms for this will be dictated by whether or not the withdrawal agreement is ratified (see below).

Fee status and access to student finance

  • EU students who started their courses (undergraduate, taught postgraduate or research) in 2018/19 or before will be eligible for the Home tuition fee and will be able to apply for the relevant financial support (for undergraduate students, this will normally be the tuition fee loan; for postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students, this will normally be the postgraduate loan – the masters loan or the doctoral loan) for the duration of their programmes, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  • EU students starting their courses (undergraduate, taught postgraduate or research) in the academic year 2019/20 will also be eligible for the Home tuition fee and will be able to apply for the relevant financial support (for undergraduate students, this will normally be the tuition fee loan; for postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students, this will normally be the postgraduate loan – the masters loan or the doctoral loan) for the duration of their programmes, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  • EU students starting their courses (undergraduate, taught postgraduate or research) in the academic year 2020/21 will also be eligible for the Home tuition fee and will be able to apply for the relevant financial support (for undergraduate students, this will normally be the tuition fee loan; for postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students, this will normally be the postgraduate loan – the masters loan or the doctoral loan) for the duration of their programmes, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal
  • The UK government has not yet confirmed whether or not EU students starting their courses (undergraduate, taught postgraduate or research) in the academic year 2021/22 and beyond will be eligible for the Home tuition fee or be able to apply for the tuition fee loan.  This page will be updated once the UK government has announced its decision.

Immigration, the EU Settlement Scheme, European Temporary Leave to Remain and visas

  • If the withdrawal agreement is ratified and the UK leaves the EU ‘with a deal’ then students arriving to study in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 will not require a visa. The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in this scenario is currently set to be 30 June 2021.
  • If the withdrawal agreement is not ratified and the UK leaves ’without a deal’ then students arriving to study in the UK after Exit Day (currently 31 January 2020) and before 31 December 2020 will be permitted to enter the UK for a period of up to three months.  EU students seeking full degrees will have to make an online application for European Temporary Leave to Remain.  Eligible EU citizens who are granted European Temporary Leave to Remain will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date this permission is granted; this will be a temporary, non-extendable immigration status which will not give indefinite leave to remain (ILR). The University of Manchester alongside other UK HE institutions and bodies such as Universities UK International (UUKi) and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) are working to understand the mechanisms by which students studying courses lasting longer than three years will be granted leave to remain in the UK after the expiry of Temporary Leave to Remain.  This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
  • It is anticipated that a new UK immigration system will come into effect from 1 January 2021, details of which are not yet available. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

For any further queries, please contact international@manchester.ac.uk.