10 Tips for EU Students Applying for UK Universities after Brexit

The transition period for the UK leaving the EU ended on 31st December 2020 and now the UK is no longer part of the EU. There are some changes for EU students applying to study at university there – one of the best and most interesting places to study in the world. How will plans for future studies be affected at UK institutions? Will admissions be more difficult following the changes? What challenges can EU students expect?

Let’s take a look at what you need to know, including all the basics:

  1. All students, whether UK citizens or EU, can apply through UCAS. This is the centralised system for all university applications in the UK. 
  2. Oxford and Cambridge – Applying to either of these institutions is slightly different and involves different dates and deadlines. Your best bet is to contact the universities directly to find out all the relevant information. 
  3. Get your application in as soon as you can, as places on the most popular courses will fill up really quickly. 
  4. If you don’t get the required grades for your desired course, you will go into something called ‘clearing’, a system for matching applicants to alternative courses. Some people discover the place they get through clearing works out better than their original choice! 
  5. Every university in the UK has its own entry requirements and they can vary, but in general, UK universities require at least three A levels, with certain grades eg. A, B, B, or equivalent BTEC or GNVQ grades. Oxford and Cambridge, again, have their own requirements, for example, they usually require you to come for an interview, unlike most other universities. 
  6. Will you need to have a student visa? If you’re an international student – or are coming from Europe to the UK to study, you will need to apply for a student visa. Students from the Republic of Ireland will not need a visa.
  7. As an EU student, you may be able to apply without the usual academic qualifications. Gabe Toms, a business writer at Write my X and 1 Day 2 write says, “As an EU student, your work experience may be enough to get you into your favoured university. Simply contact the admissions team at the university you’re interested in and ask about applicable credentials from your home country.”
  8. Your competence in the English language may be one of the greatest requirements to getting the UK university place you want. You can take one of the following tests to assess your proficiency:

    IELTS – International English Language Testing System

    UCLES – University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate

    A University Internal English Test is also acceptable.

  9. You will have to prove your immigration status – via your UK Visas and Immigration account – and you can get a ‘share code’ to share this with universities. Also, check your rights in the UK: entitlement to benefits, your right to work etc.
  10. In terms of financial advice, all EU Students (and students from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) may find they are eligible for student finance if they have a settle or pre-settle status i.e. if they have lived in the UK for more than 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of their course. The finance will take care of university tuition Fees (approx £9250 per year) and optional maintenance costs (which is £12000 to £18000 per year). You can use a student finance calculator to find out what finance you could receive.

Again, Irish students do not need to apply to the EU settlement scheme. And, “For some EU students, there may be exceptions allowing them to still be eligible for student finance like they had been in previous years,” Benjamin H. Schwann, an educator at Origin Writings and Brit Student says. 

You can check all of the above with the UKCISA (The UK’s Council for International Student Affairs) who provide excellent advice and information. 

Things may have changed in the UK following Brexit, but as long as EU students follow all the right steps, and plan ahead adequately, they can still apply to study at popular and prestigious UK universities and enjoy their years of higher study in the UK. 

George J. Newton is a writer and editor at Academic Brits and Thesis writing service. He has been married for ten years, perfecting the art of the apology throughout. He writes other useful tips and tricks on four-wheeling for Custom coursework.