EU students guaranteed free tuition in Scotland despite Brexit

EU nationals choosing to study in Scotland and enrolling in 2018-19 have been guaranteed free tuition for the duration of their entire course.

Photograph by: Stewart Cunningham

Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the announcement to demonstrate the country’s determination to welcome all EU nationals who choose to live, work or study in Scotland.

The move guarantees free tuition for all eligible EU students despite the uncertainty caused by the UK Government’s hard Brexit plans.

The announcement comes only days before UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggers of Article 50 and starts the official process to negotiate Britain leaving the EU.

Mr Swinney moved to reassure applicants for 2018-19, confirming the guarantee already in place for eligible EU students enrolling this year will be extended to those beginning their studies the following academic year.

“I am proud that Scotland is a destination of choice for EU students and I am delighted to give them further reassurance by confirming that support from the Scottish Government for tuition-free studies will continue for those commencing courses here in the 2018-19 academic year,” said Mr Swinney during a visit to the University of Dundee meeting students and staff.

“However, the continued refusal by the UK Government to give assurances to EU nationals living in Scotland that their rights will remain in place, ahead of the formal Brexit procedures beginning next week, is deeply concerning.

“EU students will rightly have concerns about any change in their status half way through a course. These students deserve certainty and knowing that their free tuition is in place for the entirety of their course is important, that is why I have confirmed this free tuition.”

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