UK Reveals New Procedures for EU Students Wishing to Study in UK After December 31

United Kingdom Europe Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 13, 2020


With less than three months left until the UK becomes officially and finally a non-EU Member State, its government has moved on to unfold the new rules of studying at a UK university for EU students, after January 1, 2021.

Starting from next year, EU students will no longer enjoy the same benefits in the UK as they do now, which means amongst other, they will need to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK to start their studies, Erudera reports.

This means from January 1 2021, if you do not already live in the UK or have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you will need to meet specific requirements and apply through the PBS to study in the UK,” the British government announces in a guideline published for EU students planning to study in the UK in the future.

The government notes that EU students will also need to pass several checks, including UK criminality checks, in order to be able to study in the island nation.

Exempt from the requirement of a visa will remain only Irish citizens, with which the UK will also keep the arrangements for the Common Travel Area.

Rules for Applying for a UK Student Visa as an EU National

All EU students aged 16 and over will be able to apply for a UK student visa. The application must be lodged at least six months in advance, by submitting the required documents and paying a fee of £348.

However, in order for an EU citizen to get a student visa for the UK, several conditions must be met. The EU student must:

  • have been offered a place at an approved sponsoring institution in the UK
  • provide their reference number from the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) which is obtained by his/her education provider once they’ve offered the applicant an unconditional place on a course
  • be taking a course that leads to an approved qualification at an appropriate level of study
  • have the relevant academic qualifications needed to undertake the course
  • genuinely intend to study in the UK
  • be able to financially support himself/herself during their studies in the UK
  • able to speak, write, read, and understand English to the required standard for the level of the course he/she intends to study
  • students under 18 must also show proof of parental or other legal guardian consent and suitable care arrangements for his/her stay in the UK

As the Student Visa is part of the Points Based System, through which the UK authorities decide on the eligibility of applicants to get a visa, students must be able to score 70 points in order to obtain a visa.

These points are awarded as presented in the table below:


With the new rules for EU citizens to study in the UK, many fear that the number of the latter will drop. In fact, pre-pandemic, the government had calculated a decline of 20 per cent in the number of students from the EU Member States enrolled at UK universities this year.

Last week, Universities UK (UUK) which represents 139 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, urged the government to undertake the necessary measures in order to ensure the UK remains attractive for foreign students.

According to statistics, a third of the over 450,000 non-British students who study at UK universities each year, are EU27 nationals.

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