Nov 18, 2016 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Good news for EU students studying in the UK in 2017.  The British government recently announced that EU students who are applying to study in the UK for the fall of 2017 will pay the same fees as British undergraduates, and will continue to be eligible for the same loans and grants.  The UK’s higher education sector depends on EU students, who make up over 5 percent of all undergraduates in the UK.     

University leaders faced uncertainty these past several months, trying to parse out what the referendum would mean for EU students, especially in the next few years.  Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of Universities UK, a consortium of 135 universities, reported to the Guardian, “It’s good to see the government has recognized the value of EU students and acted positively to guarantee their access to financial support.”  She added, “Every effort must now be made to ensure that this announcement is communicated effectively to prospective students across Europe.”

While it’s great news for 2017, the future remains uncertain.  The University and College Union (UCU), a governing body representing 110,000 staff and faculty at UK universities applauded the effort for 2017 but warned that not making a statement beyond then could potentially damage the UK’s reputation as a desirable place for EU students.     

Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s plans for new restrictions on overseas students reinforces this uncertainty.  She recently announced plans for two-tiered visa rules and stricter testing, which will make a negative impact on courses and lower level universities.  What will this mean for the future of EU students in the UK?  The answer is still a bit murky.

Learn more about studying in the UK

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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