Brexit – How does the European Union affect universities and students?

On 24 June 2016, it was officially announced that the British public had voted to leave the European Union (EU).  To help you make sense of how Brexit affects young people, particularly in higher education, we here at The Complete University Guide have put together a quick guide to what EU membership means to universities and students:

For students

EU Flag (Flickr Giampaolo Squarcina)
The European Union has a significant impact on
universities and students across the EU

The ability to study abroad with ease

Cheaper fees

Financial support

For universities

EU staff


Research grants

Research partnerships

While the EU undoubtedly plays some part (be it big or small) in these circumstances, it should be noted that not all of the above is guaranteed to change. The precise nature of any Brexit deal will be determined under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, and areas such as research (particularly collaborations) may remain as they are.

UPDATE: The response of universities to Brexit

Amidst the uncertainty regarding the impact of Brexit, UK universities and other associated organisations have issued statements reassuring students that there should be no immediate changes to the higher education sector. 

While UK universities are urging students to remain calm, they are, of course, not the only ones affected in the higher education sector. Universities across Europe will be keeping a close eye on how Brexit unfolds, in particular to see if UK students will still be classified as Home/EU when paying fees. British students study at universities across the EU, and any change to their fees classification will undoubtedly impact on European universities' student intake and financial income.

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