The impact of Brexit on student mobility in Europe

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Jul 12, 2022
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Brexit: what impact on student mobility between the United Kingdom and the European Union?

 Since January 1, 2021, Brexit is officially in effect and involves many changes for student mobility between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The rules of free movement are no longer valid, neither to nor from the United Kingdom, and involve new administrative complications. These additional steps, combined with the restrictions of the pandemic, create real obstacles to the mobility of young people.

Obligations for EU students

Visa or no visa?

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A student wishing to pursue a course in the UK meets with the new immigration system put in place for citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

The procedures are more or less restrictive depending on the duration of the stay:

  • For a stay of less than 6 months, the visa is not compulsory. The student can enrol in an approved establishment for a maximum of 6 months.
  • For a period of 6 to 11 months, the Short-term Student visa is required.
  • Beyond 11 months, a Student visa is mandatory.

Identity card or passport?

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Since October 1, 2021, citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland are required to present a valid passport for the duration of the trip.

If the student does not have a passport, acquiring one should be anticipated several weeks before departure!

Obligations for British students travelling to the EU

Requirements vary depending on the country

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The conditions are just as restrictive for travellers coming from the United Kingdom.

There are also successive cancellations or postponements of trips since the entry into force of Brexit, combined with the uncertainties of the pandemic.

For some countries, in addition to the visa or passport, students must also prove sufficient income to ensure their subsistence during their stay.

These administrative and financial implications make the mobility of young people particularly complex, even prohibitive! Taking the initiative to study at a European university turns into a stressful, confusing and costly journey for UK students.

And to study or stay in France?

The visa

The British student who wishes to make a stay (linguistic, tourist, school, university) in France must respect the same rules as a non-EU national. Thus, if the traveller wishes to stay more than 3 months, he must be in possession of a long-stay visa. 

Admission to studies in France

For the 2021/2022 academic year, there are no changes yet for British students enrolling in a school or university course in France. The request for training in the 1st year License is made on the Parcoursup platform, while registrations for other training courses are made directly with the establishment of their choice.

The impact on tuition fees

From the start of the 2021 school year, differentiated tuition fees at public higher education institutions apply for all UK students. They can apply for the exemption systems offered by the French Embassy in the United Kingdom or by the host institutions.

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All these new administrative and financial constraints, combined with the uncertainties and restrictions of the “Covid period” only hamper and slow down the mobility of young people between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

We hope that with better times, British and European students will be once again able to have unforgettable experiences on either side of the Channel, forge universal links and continue to enjoy the benefits of language and cultural stays in our schools!

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