FOR EU/EEA STUDENTS AND STAFF
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. The transition period ended on 31 December 2020 after the UK and EU finalised a Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Leaving the European Union will undoubtedly have implications for West College Scotland in the future – for both prospective/current students and staff. This page contains as much information available at the time of publication and will be updated as developments emerge.
THE IMPACT OF BREXIT AT A GLANCE
- Travel: Short trips and holidays between the UK and the EU will not require a visa, but people may have to check extra things prior to travelling. Irish citizens can continue to enter and live in the UK. EU/EEA nationals will be required to obtain a visa to study in the UK.
- Settling in the UK: EU/EEA nationals who arrived in the UK during the transition period will be able to apply for pre-settled status. Once a person has 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK, they can apply for settled status. Irish citizens can continue to enter and live in the UK. A new immigration system will replace freedom of movement in 2021.
- Tuition Fees: Free tuition will continue to be awarded to EU/EEA nationals studying at a Scottish college for the 2020/21 academic year; however, the Scottish Government has announced that EU/EEA residents beginning their studies from 2021/22 will pay tuition fees. EU nationals living in the UK with pre-settled or settled status will continue to receive free tuition.
- Student Exchange: The UK will continue to participate in Erasmus+ for the duration of the current programme period, which ends after the 2021/22 academic year. The UK will not continue to participate in Erasmus+ after this point and the UK Government has announced that student overseas placements and exchanges will be facilitated through the Turing programme.
Short trips and holidays between the UK and EU/EEA will not require a visa but UK citizens travelling to the EU and EU/EEA citizens travelling to the UK may need to do extra things before travelling. EU/EEA citizens who wish to take up the offer of a course in the UK will need to obtain a student visa. Irish citizens do not need to apply for a visa and can continue to enter and live in the UK.
Any EU/EEA nationals arriving in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for pre-settled status. You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you obtain pre-settled status. During this time you will be able to work in the UK, use the NHS, enrol in education, access public funds and travel in and out of the UK.
Once you have 5 years’ continuous residence, you will then be able to apply for permanent settled status. The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EU/EEA nationals and is free. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. You can apply now if you are eligible or choose to apply later depending on your circumstances.
The UK Government has compiled a list of things you will need before you begin the application process. Any device – for example, a laptop, Android device or iPhone – can be used for the application. Guidance has also been produced for the EU Settlement Scheme in 26 European languages. You may also wish to consult Citizens Advice Scotland for free, confidential and impartial advice prior to applying for pre-settled or settled status.
The Scottish Government has announced that EU/EEA nationals who begin studying a further or higher education course in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years will continue to receive free tuition for the entirety of their course. This includes eligible students starting Higher National courses who progress directly to year two or three of a degree.
However, the Scottish Government has decided that EU/EEA residents who begin their studies from 2021/22 will pay tuition fees. Students who have already started their studies, or who start this autumn, will not be affected and will still be tuition-free for the entirety of their course. EU nationals living in the UK who have ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled’ status sstarting courses from AY 2021-22 onwards have the same rights as other UK citizens – including edibility for free tuition.
The UK will continue to participate in Erasmus+ for the duration of the current programme period, which ends after the 2021/22 academic year. However, the UK Government has announced that participation in Erasmus+ will cease beyond this point and that a replacement 'Turing' scheme will support future student overseas placements and exchanges.
We appreciate that the Brexit process can be unsettling for both staff and students. Where possible, the College will review developments and update this page with more information as it becomes available to keep you up-to-date with how the UK’s departure from the EU may affect you.
Further information and advice can also be found from the UK Government, the Scottish Government and UKCISA. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact the College’s Student Advisory Services, Student Funding or, for staff, Human Resource departments for more information.
If you are a business and are looking for more information on how the College can support you in preparing for Brexit, please see here.
Last updated: 6 January 2021