Brexit - Information for Students

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how will brexit affect students?

Important information about tuition fees, student loans, travel and Erasmus+ programmes at the University of Portsmouth

Brexit information for students

We appreciate that the United Kingdom’s expected departure from the European Union on 29 March 2019 (‘Brexit’) is a cause of concern for current and prospective students. We are firmly committed to the maintenance of a diverse and multicultural staff and student body and to the benefits of teaching, learning and research that our European collaborations bring. The purpose of this page is to provide students some information and guidance on key Brexit matters related to their study, or intention to study, at the University. 

Tuition fees

Currently, EU students are charged tuition fees at the same rates as UK students, which are lower than fees for students from outside the EU. The UK Government has confirmed this will continue to be the case for students beginning courses in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 academic years even in the event that agreement on an exit deal is not reached.

Student loans

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students beginning university courses in 2018/19 and in September 2019 for the academic year 2019/20 following Brexit will still be entitled to undergraduate tuition fee loans or postgraduate loans from the UK's Student Loans Company (SLC), according to the existing eligibility criteria, for the full duration of their course. At present it is not clear if students starting later than September 2019 will be covered by the Government’s confirmation.

If you already have an SLC student loan, you will continue to receive instalments for the full duration of your studies and should continue your studies as usual. SLC offer more information on EU Nationals and Student Finance.


Until we have clarity around the nature of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, it is not possible to provide students with specific travel advice.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on March 29, 2019, students should keep up-to-date with information on the Government website and consider that there might be some delays at entry points into the UK and into EU countries.

The Government’s current passport advice is that should we leave the EU without a deal, UK nationals will need a minimum of six months remaining on their existing passport prior to travelling to Europe.  If, for example, you have a ten-year passport, which is older than 9 years and 6 months on the date you plan to travel, this should to be renewed in advance. A passport checking service is now available on the Government website.

The Government has now also outlined its proposals for new EU students arriving in the UK after March 29, 2019 to begin a new course of study. In the event of a no deal exit from the EU, students will be required to apply for European Temporary Leave to remain if they wish to study in the United Kingdom for more than three months.

If you have any queries that are not covered on this page please contact for further guidance.

You may also find the Q&A’s prepared by Universities UK helpful, these can be accessed below:

Universities UK International Brexit FAQs

Universities UK International Brexit FAQs for EU students


Academic year 2018/19

There are currently two possible scenarios for the participation of the UK in Erasmus+ until 2020, depending on Brexit negotiations and outcomes:

1. The UK and the EU reach a deal, which would enable the UK to stay in Erasmus+ until the end of the current programme in May 2020.

This would mean that there are no changes for students starting an Erasmus+ mobility after 29 March in the current academic year 2018/19.

2. The UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal.

The European Commission has put a proposal forward that would ensure that Erasmus+ participants who are currently abroad would be able to complete their placement without disruption in a no deal Brexit. The UK government has confirmed that it will underwrite those Erasmus+ grants until their completion of mobility.

If you are planning to start your placement after 29 March 2019, please contact for further guidance.

Should the Brexit negotiation period be extended beyond 29 March 2019, the information above may be subject to change.

Academic year 2019/20

1. The UK and the EU reach a deal, which would enable the UK to stay in Erasmus+ until the end of the current programme cycle in 2020/21.

This would mean that there are no changes to Erasmus+ in Academic Year 2019/20 and student mobility can go ahead without disruption.

2. The UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal.

Leaving the EU without a deal in March 2019 may have an impact on students planning to go abroad in Academic Year 2019/20. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the government as well as the University are considering the potential impact and are taking actions to mitigate the risks.

Erasmus+ partnerships with European institutions

It is unclear if Erasmus+ inter-institutional agreements with European partner universities, which need to be in place to undertake a period of funded study abroad, would still be valid in a no-deal scenario. The University of Portsmouth is contacting partner institutions to develop measures to continue collaboration and exchanges in the case of a no-deal. We will make every possible effort to continue offering study abroad places at partner institutions for our degree programmes, especially for those that have an element of mandatory mobility.

Erasmus+ grants

The Government on 29 January 2019 published a new technical notice on Erasmus+ in the event of a no-deal.

The UK government will only provide funding to cover Erasmus + grants awarded after the date of Brexit if the European Commission agrees to enable the UK to remain in the programme and be eligible for funding.  Although not explicit, the implication is that there would be no UK government funding to replace Erasmus+ in a no deal scenario if the UK government is unsuccessful in negotiating access to the Erasmus+ programme.

The University of Portsmouth has therefore committed to guarantee funding for students planning to go abroad on an Erasmus+ placement for those placements that are a mandatory part of student courses until May 2020.

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