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Free tuition will continue for those enrolled or preparing to study in Scotland.
Funding will remain in place to support EU students already studying in Scotland or preparing to start this year, it was confirmed today.
Following the outcome of the EU referendum, Scottish Government and Universities Scotland have reassured EU students in Scotland that they will continue to benefit from free tuition and associated support for the duration of their course.
The joint statement calls for the reintroduction of a post study work visa, which would allow international students to remain in Scotland and contribute to the economy for a defined period on completion of their studies.
The statement urges the UK Government to clarify the immigration status of its EU nationals, and confirms Scotland will continue to support research collaboration with partners across the UK and in Europe.
Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney said:
“Today’s statement sends a clear message that EU students are welcome in Scotland and their contribution is valued.
“We are proud that Scotland is a destination of choice for students and staff from overseas and I am firmly committed to ensuring this remains the case.
“That is why, in addition to confirming funding arrangements for our EU students today, we have renewed our call for the reintroduction of a post study work visa. This would boost the international appeal of Scotland’s universities and help retain talent from across the world.
“The UK Government must also clarify as soon as possible, the immigration status of EU nationals who will be living, working and studying in Scotland when the UK formally leaves the EU.”
Professor Sir Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland and Principal of the University of Dundee said:
“This statement provides much needed reassurance to our highly-valued community of EU students and those due to start study with us in the next few months.
“We will keep working to secure clarification and guidance for those who are considering Scotland as destination for study for entry from 2017/18.
“Our student community is incredibly diverse, with students from 180 countries studying here. This adds so much to the quality of higher education and the student experience we offer in Scotland. We are determined that this will continue to be the case.”
Under EU law, students from EU Member States applying for undergraduate degrees at Scottish universities are currently eligible for free tuition.
The full text of the statement is below:
JOINT STATEMENT: SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT AND UNIVERSITIES SCOTLAND ON THE OUTCOME OF THE EU REFERENDUM
We welcome the contribution EU students make to our society, culture and economy. EU students add to the diversity of our communities, enrich the learning experience and support local businesses and jobs.
We want to reassure EU students 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. We know the importance of financial stability and can further confirm that those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. This means that the outcome of the referendum will not affect the nature or level of support for continuing EU students and those entering higher education later this year.
At the same time, opportunities for Scottish students to study abroad can improve academic attainment, enhance the learning experience and increase employability as well as promote Scotland as a learning nation. We want this to continue. The UK Government has indicated that UK students studying in the EU, and those looking to start in the next academic year, will continue to be subject to current arrangements.
We are proud to be a destination of choice for staff and students from around the globe. We want EU staff and students living, working and studying in Scotland to feel settled and secure and urge the UK Government to clarify, at the earliest possible opportunity, the immigration status of EU nationals living in Britain once the UK formally leaves the EU.
We believe that the outcome of the EU referendum makes it even more important that the UK Government supports the reintroduction of a post study work visa in Scotland to enable our universities to continue to attract and retain talent from across the world.
Scotland's universities are highly internationalised. Scotland is an active player and valued partner in European research collaborations and has secured significant funding from European research programmes. Research excellence is underpinned by extensive collaborations and we will continue to work together, with the UK Government and our European partners to support research and the continued success of our universities.