Students returning after Brexit

Support for Scottish students in face of ‘untenable’ costs.

Financial support will be available to Scottish students currently at EU universities to continue their studies in Scotland after Brexit.

Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead has assured eligible Scottish domiciled students who are forced to abandon their studies in the EU that they will receive guaranteed cost of living and tuition fee support to carry on their education at home.

Concerns have been raised that hundreds of Scottish students could suddenly be liable for international student fees, medical care or travel insurance, depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Lochhead said:

“Depending on if, and how, the UK leaves the EU, UK citizens studying for full degrees in the EU may suddenly find themselves liable for international student fees, medical care, and travel insurance. Our estimates suggest hundreds of students may be affected.

“Facing untenable increases in costs, many of these students – perhaps even the vast majority - may have to come home to Scotland. Their studies cut short. No degree awarded and, of course, their dreams in ruins. All because of a Brexit that Scotland didn’t vote for.

“The Scottish Government has been urgently working with the sector to prepare for students who may return to Scotland and to minimise any disruption to their studies. The Student Awards Agency for Scotland has provided clear information and guidance for students on their website, which will help guide them in transferring to a Scottish institution if that becomes necessary.

“Today, I want to offer reassurance to those students. If you left Scotland to study in the EU, and Brexit means you are forced to give up your studies, we guarantee to provide student support and tuition fees to eligible students so you can study here in Scotland. That is a guarantee you can bank on in these uncertain times.”


Richard Lochhead’s full statement on the impact of Brexit on further and higher education is available.

The Scottish Government has published a Brexit Action Plan for the Further and Higher Education sector, outlining how the Government is responding to the threats and challenges posed by Brexit.

Eligible Scottish domiciled students currently studying for full undergraduate degrees in the EU will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)  for cost of living and tuition fee support if Brexit makes continuing their studies in the EU financially untenable, and they are unable to complete their degree.

The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) has provided guidance for students on their website, which will help guide them in transferring to a Scottish college or university.


Media enquiries

Back to top