Scottish and EU students' rights following EU referendum: joint statement

Scottish Government and Universities Scotland address the rights of EU nationals studying in Scotland and Scottish students in the EU.

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.

Scottish Government
Universities Scotland

1 July 2016


Email: – Central Enquiry Unit

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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