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EU referendum response

Here you can find the latest statements from our University and other organisations following the referendum vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Here at Canterbury Christ Church University our staff and our students from across the EU are, and will continue to be, extremely important members of our diverse and multi-cultural University community. They make a significant contribution to who we are, what we stand for, and our long-term commitment to internationalisation.

The Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, signifying the formal start of the two-year negotiation to agree the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Although the process of withdrawal has now begun, the UK will remain a member of the EU for the next two years - until the end of March 2019.

For staff and students from non-UK EU countries, very little will change in formal terms during this two-year period.

Current students, and those applying to start courses in 2017-18, will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status, and this guarantee will apply for the duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU. We continue to welcome applications from EU students applying for undergraduate, postgraduate taught, and postgraduate research programmes.

We strongly support Universities UK (UUK) in its lobbying of government, on behalf of the whole Higher Education sector, for EU students starting a course in 2018/19 and 2019/20 to continue to be eligible for home fee status, and be eligible for loans and grants.

The government has confirmed that while the UK remains a member of the EU there will be no immediate changes to UK immigration policy for university staff currently in, or contemplating coming to, the UK from the EU. The Prime Minister’s letter triggering Article 50 states that ‘we should aim to strike an early agreement about [the] rights’ of non-UK EU citizens in the UK, and of UK citizens in other EU countries.

However, we are aware that absence of a clear agreement in this area is unsettling for those affected. The University therefore actively supports UUK’s argument to government that it should as a matter of top priority confirm rights to reside and work in the UK post-exit for EU nationals who are currently working in the university sector, and their dependants.

Christ Church is at the forefront of analysis of the local impact of our exit from the EU across different sectors, including business and commerce, agriculture, healthcare, local government, and policing and security. Dr Amelia Hadfield, Director of the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS), regularly provides analysis to the local media on the implications of Brexit for Kent and Medway, analysis which has been been shared with government and stakeholders. More details are available on the CEFEUS website.

Professor David Shepherd

In December 2017, broad agreement was reached on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The agreement covers three key elements:

  • the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK and those of UK nationals living in the EU
  • the position of Northern Ireland
  • the financial settlement

The UK Government has agreed to replicate, in post-Brexit UK law, the rights currently enjoyed by EU nationals who are established in the UK:

  • A new settled status in UK law will be created for EU citizens residing in the UK before a specified date (scheduled to be 29 March 2019, the planned date of our withdrawal).EU citizens (and their family members) who have resided in the UK for five years on the specified date will be eligible to apply for settled status.
  • EU citizens (and their family members) resident in the UK before the specified date, but who have not been resident for five years on the specified date, will be able to apply for temporary residence status to cover the period until they have accumulated five years’ continuous residence. They will then be eligible to apply for settled status.
  • EU nationals will have around two years from the date of the UK’s exit from the EU to lodge applications and will have protected status during this transitional period.

Similar arrangements are likely to apply to EEA nationals (nationals of Norway, Iceland. Lichtenstein and Switzerland). Irish Nationals will not be affected as the Government has agreed to preserve the Common Travel Area established under the Ireland Act 1949.

The Government has not decided what immigration arrangements will apply to EU nationals arriving after Brexit. In practice, freedom of movement is likely to continue during any transitional period, though as things stand it is not clear whether that those arriving in the UK after the specified date but before the end of the transitional period will be eligible to apply for the new settled status. 

The Government has agreed to avoid unnecessary administrative burden in applying for the new settled status and that application forms will be short and user-friendly. However, EU nationals currently living in the UK may wish to consider applying for permanent residence prior to Brexit, since the procedure for switching from this to the new settled status is likely to be simpler than applying from scratch.

The University has a loan scheme in place to assist colleagues in meeting the expenses associated with applying for permanent leave to remain in the UK. More details about the scheme can be found here [internal only page].

The EU Referendum Group chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor continues to monitor closely the implications of the Brexit negotiations for higher education in general and the University in particular.

The Government's EU Settlement Scheme enables EU citizens and their family members living in the UK to continue living here after the UK withdraws from the EU, with the same rights as they have now.

The Government has announced plans for the second phase of the pilot for the scheme, to run from 1 November to 21 December 2018.

During this phase, specific groups of people are being invited to apply for settled status including, from 15 November, those who work at higher education institutions registered as a Tier 4 sponsor.

Family members of those working in higher education are not permitted to apply during this phase of the pilot unless they are also eligible through their employment with a participating organisation or they are being supported by one of the participating community organisations.

The deadline for applying for settled status under the scheme is 30 June 2021.

More information about eligibility and the application process can be found on the Gov.UK website.

 

The following statement applies to EU nationals who are currently in receipt of student loans from the Student Loans Company (SLC), and to EU nationals who intend to begin studying in 2017.

EU nationals or their family members, currently in higher education, and who are assessed as eligible to receive loans and/or grants from the SLC, will continue to receive these loans and grants until they finish their course. This applies to all student finance from the SLC for students in England for which EU nationals are eligible. This includes loans to cover tuition fees (for those resident in the EEA for five years), loans and grants for maintenance (limited to those resident in the UK for at least three years), and some other grants and allowances.

The rules applying to EU nationals, or their family members, who have applied for a place at university from 2016, and starting in 2017, to study a course which attracts student support are unchanged. The SLC will assess these applications against existing eligibility criteria, and will provide loans and/or grants in the normal way. EU nationals, or their family members, who are assessed as eligible to receive grants and/ or loans by the SLC will then be eligible for the duration of their study on that course. These eligibility criteria set out that for students beginning study from August 2016, EU nationals must have been resident in the UK for at least five years in order to apply for a maintenance loan.

Students should consult their university’s student finance office, or the GOV.UK website, for information on what support they can receive.

In July 2018, the Government announced that students from the European Union starting courses in England in the 2019/20 academic year will continue to be treated as UK students, in terms of fees and financial support, for the duration of their studies.

This is welcome news for the higher education sector, which has long been calling for clarity on the status of EU students immediately after Brexit. However, there is still no long-term decision or reciprocal deal on how UK students in the EU, or EU students in the UK, will be treated after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

 Frequently asked questions

The full impact of the UK leaving the EU will take some time to work through, including how it will affect higher education and research in this country. However, what we do know is that changes are not going to be immediate and there is likely to a long period of discussion and transition – at least two years – as the UK agrees its future relationship with the EU.

We also know that there will not be immediate changes to:

  • The immigration status of current non-UK EU students and staff.
  • The fees charged to non-UK EU student or their access to UK government funded loans or grants.
  • The sector’s participation in EU programmes such as Erasmus +.

We value enormously the contribution that all our students and staff, from all parts of the world, make to our community and we remain fully committed to being an international university. We will be joining other universities in arguing forcefully that in its negotiations about the UK’s future relationship with the EU the government should do everything possible to preserve the freedom of movement for staff and students, and the access to research funding, that underpin the international ambitions and reputation of UK higher education.

 Students and staff

No. As there are no immediate changes, European citizens living here, and British citizens living in the EU, do not need to apply for a visa. This includes those studying or working at UK universities.

The government confirmed in April 2017 that EU students will continue to remain eligible for undergraduate, master’s, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support in academic year 2018 to 2019.

The decision means EU students applying for an undergraduate or master’s course at an English university or further education institution in the 2018 to 2019 academic year will continue to have access to student loans and grants, even if the course concludes after the UK’s exit from the EU.

EU students are eligible for home fee status, which means they are charged the same tuition fees as UK students. Other non-EU, international students do not have their tuition fees capped in this way.

EU nationals will also remain eligible to apply for Research Council PhD studentships at UK institutions for 2018 to 2019 to help cover costs for the duration of their study.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said:

We have been clear about our commitment to the UK’s world-class higher education sector. Through our modern industrial strategy and the additional £4.7 billion committed for research and innovation over the next 5 years, we are ensuring the UK has the skills and environment it needs to continue leading the way in academia and research.

A key part of our success is attracting talent from across the globe. This will provide reassurance to the brightest minds from across Europe to continue applying to study in the UK, safe in the knowledge financial assistance is available if needed.

View the full statement on the Gov.UK website.

 No. If you are non-UK EU student and are currently studying at Christ Church, or who started in autumn (2016), we do not anticipate any changes at all. The referendum results will not affect students studying in the EU, those participating in Erasmus +, or those considering applying for the scheme in 2017. Longer term, universities’ access to the Erasmus + programme will be considered as part of the wider discussions with the EU.

EU students are entitled to pay the same fees as UK students while the UK remains a member of the EU.

Current non-UK EU students, and those that begin their studies at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2017, will continue to receive funding for the duration of their course. The Student Loans Company guidance, and eligibility criteria, can be found on these web pages or by visiting: www.slc.co.uk/media/latest-news/eu-nationals-and-student-finance-in-england.

If you are postgraduate student, the recently launched Master’s Loans scheme will still apply. For more details, visit www.slc.co.uk/services/postgraduate-loan

Yes. During the transition period the UK remains a member of the EU and remains bound by EU legislation.

While the UK remains a member of the EU the government has confirmed that there will be no immediate changes to UK visa policies for staff currently working in, or contemplating coming to, the UK from other EU countries.

Longer term recruitment of staff will depend on the relationship negotiations with the EU.

It is a key priority for us to clarify the long-term position of non-UK EU staff once the UK actually leaves the EU, and this is something that the sector as a whole has taken up as a matter of urgency with the government. We will keep those colleagues affected updated as more information becomes available.

We value enormously the contribution that all our students and staff, from all parts of the world, make to our community and we remain fully committed to being an international university. We will be joining other universities in arguing forcefully that in its negotiations about the UK’s future relationship with the EU the government should do everything possible to preserve the freedom of movement for staff and students, and the access to research funding, that underpin the international ambitions and reputation of UK higher education.

At its meeting on 8 November 2016 SMT approved a proposal to provide short-term loans to members of staff who may wish to apply for residency, citizenship or settlement in the UK. While it is anticipated that the loan scheme will be of most interest to colleagues from other EU countries following the result of this year’s EU Referendum, it will also be available to those who are in the UK under Tier 2 sponsorship by the University.
Full details of the scheme, and how to apply, can be found at: https://cccu.canterbury.ac.uk/hr-and-od/policies-and-procedures/short-life-loan-policy.aspx (internal only page).

Recognising the importance of science and innovation to society, productivity and economic competitiveness, the government has provided reassurance to UK participants of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme with a commitment to safeguard funding for research and innovation projects.

As a result, British businesses and universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU. The Treasury will underwrite the payment of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.

Information on this page is accurate to the best of the University's knowledge and based on advice from the UK government and national bodies for universities. However, we reserve the right to update and amend information as we seek further clarification on questions arising from the referendum.

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Last edited: 17/10/2018 12:09:00