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EU referendum 2016

On 23 June 2016 the UK electorate voted in a national referendum to leave the European Union.

At this moment, there is no immediate, material change for our EU staff, current EU students, potential EU students and EU-funded programmes.

More information relating too working and studying at UWS post Brexit (i.e travel arrangements in and around the EU and the EU settlement scheme can be found in our UWS and Europe page.

UWS and Europe

Student Discussing How to Join UWS as an Exchange Student | University of the West of Scotland

Tuition fees for EU students commencing their studies in 2018/19, 2019/20 & 2020/21

The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students, studying full time for their first degree and enrolling in the 2018/19, 2019/20 & 2020/21 academic sessions, will be eligible to have their tuition fees paid by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for their full period of study. Students will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students, will retain that status for the duration of their studies, and are eligible for tuition fee support from SAAS.

Please visit the SAAS website for more information:

SAAS Funding for EU Nationals 2019-20 (pdf)
UWS Student Planning Exchange Student Opportunities | University of the West of Scotland

Current UWS Undergraduate and postgraduate students

There is no change to your status as a direct result of the 2016 EU Referendum vote on leaving the EU:

  • your immigration status has not changed
  • tuition fee levels that you are currently charged have not changed
  • your access to any support you receive from the Student Awards AgencyScotland (SAAS) has not changed

The Scottish Government has confirmed, following the referendum, that "there has been no change in current funding arrangements and that eligible EU students already studying in Scotland or commencing their studies in the coming months will continue to benefit from free tuition and, for those who meet the residency requirement, associated living cost support."

This above advice also holds true for students with dual nationality, i.e. domiciled outside the EU but holding an EU passport.

UWS Students Discussing Society Research Themes | University of the West of Scotland

Erasmus+ students

UWS students currently studying at an Erasmus+ partner institution overseas

If you are a current UWS student and are studying, or planning to study with an Erasmus+ partner institution, your immigration status in your host country has not changed as a result of the 2016 EU referendum and you will continue to be eligible for your Erasmus+ grant funding.

Erasmus+ partner students currently studying, or planning to study at UWS

If you are currently an Erasmus+ student at UWS, your immigration status in the UK has not changed as a result of the 2016 EU referendum and you will continue to be eligible for your Erasmus+ grant funding.

Image of Europe | UWS Brexit Updates for International Students | University of the West of Scotland

UWS & Brexit

UWS is a global institution. We’re proud to host 1,200 students and over 100 staff from European Union countries.

Inevitably, we are also involved in multiple partnerships and research projects which have EU elements.

So – like most of the higher education sector – we were disappointed when the UK voted to leave the union. We are, however, working hard to ensure a positive Brexit outcome as it affects the university.

Above all, we’re determined to protect the interests of our students and staff.

Brexit Update: January 2018

In December 2017, the UK Government presented the terms of phase one of the Brexit deal and agreement on EU citizens’ rights, which will be of interest and importance to those EU colleagues working in HE in the UK.

The University values the contribution of our EU staff and students to the culture and vitality of our institution and our wider society and I reaffirm our commitment to supporting our EU colleagues and students from the EU27 states as ‘phase two’ of the negotiations commence. Universities UK has reported that it sees the ‘phase one’ exit deal, reported in December, as positive news for universities and provides some welcome progress on a number of issues, in particular that an agreement has finally been reached on citizens' rights, which has long been universities' first priority for Brexit negotiations.


the announcement means that the 46,000 EU nationals working across the UK university sector have clarity that they can remain and work in the UK and gain settled status. We also welcome the confirmation that people with settled status will be able to spend up to five consecutive years outside the UK without losing this status. It is positive news that the budget settlement reached means that UK universities, students and researchers will continue to be able to participate in valuable programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ until at least the end date of current programmes.”
Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of UUK

Separately, but also importantly, the UK Government has promised a new and simpler application process for EU citizens seeking ‘settled status’ in the UK after Brexit. We will be closely following these agreements in ‘The Joint Report’ of the UK/EU negotiators and how this influences negotiations during 'phase two' and in the 'Final Agreement.’ which currently foresee the protection of citizens’ rights after March 2019.

Universities UK

Universities UK (the body which represents the voice of all UK Universities) are working with the government on the implications for universities and students of the UK's vote to leave the EU.

Find out more

Last updated: 08/01/2018