How Did Brexit Affect UK Postgraduate Student Loans
Since the UK left the EU (Brexit) in January 2020, a range of changes has affected students from the EU looking to study in the UK. The changes affect health insurance, study opportunities and fees.
Despite the changes, it’s also worth noting Brexit may not have affected the tuition fees or funding for international students outside of the EU/EEA sections.
Since 1st August 2021, students from the EU/EEA (except Irish residents) will no longer be eligible for the home fee status. This means instead of paying the same as a UK resident, students will have to pay an international student fee. The fee will depend on the university and the course you will want to study.
Brexit has also affected the way for prospective students to apply for a loan in the UK. You are unable to apply for a tuition fee or maintenance loan from the Students Loan Company. However, there are a number of scholarships available at your prospective university. Be sure to speak to the university, or explore other possible scholarships or funding options.
Students coming into the UK post-2020 will not be able to enter without a visa. However, if you were living in the UK before 31st December 2020, you will be able to enter under the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme was long passed, however, you may be able to apply if you are joining a family or with reasonable grounds.
To apply for a student visa to study in the UK, you must be 16 and older. You may apply whether or not you’re in the UK but you must meet the following conditions:
- Have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor
- Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course
- Speak, read, write and understand English
- If you’re 16 or 17, have consent from your parents
When to apply?
- Inside the UK
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before your course starts and you must apply before your current visa expires – the course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiry date.
A decision is made within 8 weeks.
- Outside the UK
The earliest you can apply is 6 months before the start of your course
You’ll typically get a decision within 3 weeks.
Your visa’s duration will depend on the length of your course and what study you have already completed in the UK.
If you are studying a course for up to 6 months at a licensed institution, you don’t need to apply for a visa. You can apply for a short-term study visa for an English course if that course lasts no more than 11 months.
It costs £363 to apply for a Student Visa outside the UK, and £490 to extend or switch your Student Visa within the UK.
As part of the application, you will also be required to pay the healthcare surcharge. How much you pay depends on the length of your visa. Check how much you’ll need to pay. If you bring other family members, you will also need to pay for them too.
Studying abroad for UK students
Leaving the EU also affects students within the UK. The Erasmus+ scheme allowed students in the EU to study abroad at other universities for a semester or an entire year. Since 1 January 2021, EU and UK students can no longer apply for an Eramus+ scheme (Northern Irish students can still access Eramus+).
The UK has set up its own global exchange program known as the Turing Scheme. The Turing Scheme allows student exchanges around the world and provides funding for 35,000 students a year at UK universities, colleges and schools. They provide small grants towards living and travel expenses, but not towards tuition fees. Those on the scheme are able to study abroad and go on work placements.
To learn more about the Turing Scheme.
Scholarships and Schemes
Each university will over scholarships and schemes among their homegrown and international students, no matter their background or religious status. Such schemes include the Commonwealth Country scheme, GREAT scholarship, Chevening Scholarship and many more. You can find out more information on these in our Applying For A UK Postgraduate Student Loan As An International Student blog.
Are you or someone you know looking to apply to one of the UK’s top universities but lacking enough funds to support your tuition fee? A Lendwise Loan is a student-friendly loan which is tailored specifically to the application and is not tied to just UK nationals.
Apply for a Lendwise Loan today. 9.2%* Representative APR (Fixed). Credit is subject to status. Over 18’s only. Terms and Conditions apply.
For more information, visit the Government website on student visas.
*This figure was correct as of 29 June 2023