The IMA is advising that all UK universities and colleges should ensure they are aware of the latest guidance for students who have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
This follows reports that a number of British universities and colleges have been unclear of their obligations regarding admissions and financial support for EU citizens who reside in the UK.
A recurring issue has been around students who are waiting for their EUSS application to be decided.
These individuals continue to have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. Following their application to the EUSS, individuals are issued with a Certificate of Application (CoA) to prove their protected status, as an interim measure and as they await the outcome of their application.
Yet despite having a CoA, a number of students have been unable to enrol on their courses as some universities and colleges fear they may in breach of their sponsor duties and risk losing their sponsor status. Some students have also experienced delays or difficulties receiving financial support as a result.
Students who applied late to the EUSS (after 30 June 2021), have been particularly affected even though their rights are protected once they have made an application, as evidenced by a CoA.
An absence of up to date government guidance has been given as an explanation for many of the problems by the higher education sector. As a result, the Home Office has issued information which is now being shared among the university community.
Kate Chamberlain, IMA Chief Executive said:
“The IMA is here to ensure that EU citizens can continue to work, study and live in the UK as they did before Brexit. The issues seem to have arisen from a lack of clarity or understanding and so I would urge all those involved in university admissions and finance to carefully review the latest guidance to ensure they are clear about what citizens are entitled to.”
For all the latest guidance, please refer to the advice below:
- Student finance eligibility: 2021 to 2022 academic year – GOV.UK.
- Policy – SFE, Practitioners (slc.co.uk)
- Access to Student Finance from Academic Year 2021/22: FAQs – The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk)
- (The Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk)
- UKCISA guidance on home fee status in England
- Financial help for EU students | nidirect
- What type of full-time student are you? – Student Finance NI
- Full-time undergraduate EU student finance options – Student Finance NI
- A guide to Financial Support for Full Time Students in Higher Education – 2021/22 (studentfinanceni.co.uk) Refer to page 6
- Full Time Higher Education Student Finance – A guide to Entitlement to Support and Payment (studentfinanceni.co.uk)
- Terms & Conditions 2021/22 (studentfinanceni.co.uk) Student Loan information
- UKCISA – international student advice and guidance – Northern Ireland: fee status
- Specific guidance on new eligibility categories for HE student support is provided by the Welsh Government.
- General and specific guidance is available to students from Student Finance Wales.
- UKCISA provide guidance on home fee status in Wales
- Factsheets for EU students on the Preparing Wales website.
- EU Citizens Immigration Advice Service (eusswales.com)