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EU referendum and Article 50: FAQs, comment and statements

UCL is a global university through our outlook, people and enduring international partnerships. Our EU staff and students are our first priority in our approach to Brexit, and since the referendum result we have been engaging the UK government to protect your rights.   

This page provides practical advice, including frequently asked questions (FAQs), for our staff and students, as well as links to further information. Please also check the Universities UK website for the latest updates.

For academic comment and expertise on Brexit, see the UCL Brexit Hub.

Immigration Loans

We are offering an interest free Immigration Loan for eligible employees to obtain immigration law advice and to make certain immigration applications for you and your dependants. You can check your eligibility and apply through our Immigration Loans page

In 2016 we held a number of immigration clinics for employees concerned about their immigration position. Our staff and students can login to view FAQs and a video from the immigration clinics

FAQs

EU students (prospective, current and offer holders)

Are EU students welcome at UCL?

Yes. We have a long tradition of European students and partnerships. We currently have over 4,000 non-UK EU students enrolled at UCL. In the words of Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President and Provost: "We value you enormously – your contribution to UCL life is intrinsic to what the university stands for."

Are EU students welcome in London?

Yes. In the words of Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London: “To the almost one million Europeans living in London ... you are welcome here.” UCL fully endorses this statement.

Further information is available on the International Students website.

Does the referendum result affect my immigration status?

If you are currently enrolled at UCL, your immigration status and associated fee status, as well as your access to the student loan book, have not changed as a result of the vote. If there were to be any changes to your immigration status in the future, we would not expect these to come into place until formal agreements have been reached in relation to issues such as freedom of movement.

We do not expect this to happen before 2019.

How will my immigration status be affected when Britain leaves the EU?

At present this is unclear. We will work to influence policy in this area and will update and support you as the situation develops.

Further information on immigration issues is available on the International Student Support website. 

If you have a place to start at UCL in the academic year 2017/18, at this stage there is no reason to assume any change to your immigration status.

Will my tuition fees rise during my degree programme?

Entry in 2017/18 or 2018/19
If you accept a place on a programme as a home/EU fee student for entry in the academic year 2017/18 or 2018/19, you will pay the same tuition fees as UK students for the duration of your enrolment on that specific programme.

However, this is subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the UCL fees schedule.

2019/20 and beyond
For students starting in the academic year 2019/20 or after, this is at present unclear. We will work to influence policy in this area and will update and support you as the situation develops.

Am I eligible for tuition fee loans from the Student Loans Company (SLC)?

The UK government has confirmed that current university students from the EU, and those applying to courses starting in 2017/18 or 2018/19, will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status.

This guarantee will apply for the full duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

UCL strongly endorses Universities UK’s stance in calling for similar reassurances for EU students who want to apply for courses across the UK starting in the 2019/20 academic year.

The longer-term implications for EU students who want to apply to study in the UK after the UK has left the EU will depend on the outcome of the negotiations and what kind of future relationship is agreed between the UK and the EU. 

For more information, please refer to the statement on the SLC website from Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science.

Am I eligible for Research Council PhD studentships?

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, has confirmed in two statements that EU nationals starting courses in the academic year 2017/18 and 2018/19 will continue to be eligible for Research Council PhD studentships to help fund their studies for the full duration of their course.

This will be the case even if the course finishes after the UK has left the European Union.

Can I still apply for the Erasmus+ scheme?

UCL students can continue to apply for the Erasmus+ scheme, and our understanding is that there will be no change to the funding allocation process until a specific new agreement is reached.

The European Commission has confirmed that EU law continues to apply to the full in the UK until it is no longer a member. This, therefore, also applies to the projects financed through the Erasmus+ programme. The UK is not expected to leave the EU until 2019.

Further information is available on the Study Abroad website. 

Will my Horizon2020 or ERC grant be affected? Is it worth applying for new Horizon2020 or ERC grants?

The Treasury has guaranteed EU funding beyond the date UK leaves the EU, and advises that you should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.

See also UCL’s statement on Horizon 2020 and the EC’s official statement.

Will I be able to work while in the UK?

Nothing has changed in relation to your ability to work in the UK at present. If there were to be any changes to your ability to work in the UK in the future, we would not expect these to come into place until formal agreements have been reached in relation to issues such as freedom of movement.

Will I have to pay for medical care?

Nothing has changed in relation to your ability to receive NHS medical care in the UK at present. Again, if there were to be any changes in the future relating to access to medical care, we would not expect these to come into place until formal agreements have been reached regarding the status of EU citizens in the UK.  

What additional help is available to support the wellbeing of current students?

The resources below are at your disposal if you would like further help and advice in relation to welfare matters.

For further questions about immigration, see the ‘Employees’ section below.

Employees

I am a non-UK EU national. Do I need a visa to continue working at UCL?

Nothing has changed in relation to your immigration status or ability to work in the UK. If there were to be any changes to your ability to work in the UK in the future, we would not expect these to come into place until formal agreements have been reached in relation to issues such as freedom of movement. UCL is being supported by specialist immigration lawyers and will continue to provide additional support and information as the position becomes clearer.

I am a Norwegian, Icelandic, Liechtenstein or Swiss national, how am I affected?

As with EU nationals, there is no impact on your employment status as a result of the referendum.

Will I have to pay for medical care?

Nothing has changed in relation to your ability to receive NHS medical care in the UK. Again if there were to be any changes in the future relating to access to medical care, we would not expect these to come into place until formal agreements had been reached regarding the status of EU citizens in the UK.

What support services are available for employees?

UCL employees can access personal support from the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) on a confidential basis. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year for staff.

Dignity at Work Advisers offer informal support for employees experiencing bullying and harassment in the workplace.

What should I do if I see or experience racism or harassment linked to the EU referendum result? 

UCL does not tolerate racism, xenophobia or harassment in the work place or in study. All staff are responsible for ensuring that they behave in an appropriate manner, showing respect for staff, students and others working alongside or engaged with the UCL community. All staff are encouraged to appropriately challenge inappropriate behaviours and raise concerns with managers so these can be dealt with. This note provides you with guidance on what you should do if you experience or witness racism, xenophobia or harassment.

For further support regarding racial and xenophobic harassment, please visit the Equalities & Diversity website.

Where can employees go for further information about visas and immigration?

UCL has held a series of immigration clinics for employees concerned about their immigration position. Staff can login to view FAQs and a video from the immigration clinics

You can also find information on the government website about residence and applying for British citizenship.

UCL HR will be able to provide general information via the following email address: eustaffqueries@ucl.ac.uk.

UCL will continue to assess what further support can be made available.

Will immigration advice be available to staff on an individual basis?

We are considering a number of different options at the moment. We are also waiting to see what the process will be post-Brexit. However, we are able to provide more immigration clinics for staff if that would be helpful. Please let us know if you would like to attend a clinic by e-mailing us at eustaffqueries@ucl.ac.uk.

Will UCL be providing any financial support for those who need help with immigration applications?

As the negotiations could take almost two years to complete, what the process might be for EU staff is very difficult to predict and we would want to avoid committing ourselves to any unnecessary expenditure at this time. The provision of financial support will, however, be kept under review.

Will PhD students be provided with the same level of support as existing staff members?

Yes. We are already providing that support across UCL. PhD students should access support from Student Support and Wellbeing in the first instance. Where necessary, further support can be obtained from Human Resources. 

What support is available to staff who are family members of EU citizens?

We are offering the same level of support and advice that is available to staff. If you require support but have not been contacted, you should contact Human Resources on eustaffqueries@ucl.ac.uk to register your details.

Has UCL considered the possible impact, after Brexit, of future student and staff reductions?

To ensure that we continue to retain and attract the best people, senior leaders at UCL have formed working groups that meet regularly to identify the impact on student and staff numbers post-Brexit. We are also campaigning to the government to ensure strategies are developed that enable us to secure the right talent and resources to continue to be a world-renowned university post-Brexit.

We have contributed to Education Select Committee hearings, highlighting the impact any immigration controls are likely to have on higher education institutions, and we are asking the government to protect current EU citizens.

What is the Brexit Mitigation Group doing now about student and staff retention?

The Brexit Mitigation Group is confident that we can mitigate the risks that we are facing. We are pushing very hard for a specific deal that supports EU citizens and an immigration system that encourages talent and allows strategies to be developed to meet that need.

Research

Can I still apply for the Erasmus scheme?

UCL researchers can continue to apply for the Erasmus scheme, and our understanding is that there will be no change to the funding allocation process until a specific new agreement is reached.

Will my Horizon2020 or ERC grant be affected? Is it worth applying for new Horizon2020 or ERC grants?

The Treasury has guaranteed EU funding beyond the date UK leaves the EU, and advises that you should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.

See also UCL’s statement on Horizon 2020 and the EC’s official statement.

What is UCL doing to address any negative perception of the UK with our European partners?

We are working with many partners, including BIS, Research Councils UK, and LERU to minimise the risk that attitudes to UK post-referendum harm our participation in EU funding mechanisms.

What about long-term relationships beyond the conclusion of negotiations?

We will continue to support and champion growing and strengthening academic relations across Europe. We maintain a view that as the UK looks to find a new place in the global community, academic and research cooperation across Europe will remain an essential, and indeed ever-stronger, part of its global relationships. 

For a global university, ongoing rich cooperation with the excellent universities, institutes, hospitals and companies of Europe is a non-negotiable part of our long-term vision. 

We will continue to enable such cooperation, and are already assessing long-term options to respond to whatever framework emerges from negotiations, including partnerships with European universities and establishing physical research and innovation operations in Europe.

For further questions about immigration, see the ‘Employees’ above.

Brexit-related activity 

UCL and Brexit: a post-Article 50 forum
On 4 May 2017, UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur and a panel of UCL’s senior leaders took questions on what Brexit may mean for UCL, and discussed the next steps that UCL may pursue in the coming period.

View event resources.

‘What will Brexit mean for UCL?’
UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur and a panel of the university’s senior leaders discussed at a meeting with UCL staff and students what Brexit may mean for UCL on 12 July 2016 and 12 September 2016.

View event summary and resources: 

Please see the UCL statements page for statements from UCL about the referendum outcome, including a video message from Professor Arthur.

Please see the external statements page for statements on the outcome of the EU referendum result of key relevance to UCL.

UCL supports Science is Vital: find out how you can join their campaign.