Brexit: Briefing

main content

Update on the current position on key issues of research funding, the immigration status of EU staff and students, as well as student recruitment and mobility issues following the 23 June 2016 referendum decision in favour of the UK leaving the European Union:

Research Funding

Immigration Status of EU Staff / Students

EU Students: Fees and Loans

Student Mobility through Erasmus+


Research Funding

  • Both the UK government and the European institutions have confirmed there is no immediate change to the UK's participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020:
  • "The UK remains a member of the EU and we continue to meet our obligations and receive relevant funding. The referendum result has no immediate effect on those applying to or participating in Horizon 2020. UK participants can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way", Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities, 28 June 2016
  • "Until this process of negotiations is over, the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Union, with all the rights and obligations that derive from this", Joint Statement by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Mark Rutte, Holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, 24 June 2016
  • Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, released a statement on 13 August 2016 stating that "Where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example, universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK's departure from the EU"
  • In order to address concerns regarding the evaluation process for Horizon 2020 proposals involving UK participants:
  • Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, confirmed that Horizon 2020 will continue to be evaluated based on merit and not on nationality during his speech at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) 2016 in Manchester, 23-27 July 2016, and he urged the European scientific community to continue to choose their project partners on the basis of excellence
  • The European Commission published an updated version (version 2.1, 26 July 2016) of its standard briefing on Horizon 2020 proposal evaluation, which includes a new slide on the outcome of the EU referendum which states that "Experts should not evaluate proposals with UK participants any differently than before"
  • Colleagues should continue to prepare and submit bids to Horizon 2020 as normal, sharing the above information with potential collaborators in order to reassure them that we are committed to continued European research collaboration and are still full participants in current and proposed H2020 projects

 

Immigration Status of EU Staff / Students

  • The UK Government issued a statement on 11 July 2016 confirming that there has been no immediate change to the immigration status of current and prospective EU students and staff
  • While there has not yet been any clarification on the longer term immigration implications for EU students and staff who want to come to the UK from 2017/2018 onwards, and whether any changes can be expected to the rights of those EU nationals already working in the UK, the Government statement confirmed that, "When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU Member States, will be properly protected"

 

EU Students: Fees and Loans

  • EU students are currently eligible for free tuition and able to access financial support for their studies (loans and grants)
  • The Scottish Government issued a statement on 1 July 2016 to confirm that funding remains in place to support EU students already studying in Scotland or preparing to start this year
  • It remains uncertain whether universities will be able to charge EU students commencing a course in 2016/2017 the same fees as home students for the total duration of their course
  • The situation for students looking to enter from academic year 2017/2018 still needs to be clarified

 

Student Mobility through Erasmus+

  • Students from UK universities currently overseas on an Erasmus+ placement, and those considering applying to participate in Erasmus+ next year (2016/2017) will not be affected by the referendum result.

 

The University has set up a Strathclyde European Exit Working and Advisory Group, chaired by Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hall.

If you are aware of any actual and direct impacts to the University from the referendum decision, please email details to strategyandpolicy@strath.ac.uk. All information provided will be anonymised, and will help the University to consider our response to the various risks and opportunities presented, as well as in informing sector bodies' lobbying efforts.