For Staff


Leeds is an international university and our aspiration to attract and welcome students and staff from across Europe and around the world is undiminished. We are working to ensure that, as Brexit progresses, EU national students and staff can continue to study and work at Leeds, with support and regular advice as the national policy picture becomes clearer. 

Read the full text of the Vice-Chancellor’s statement following the referendum in 2016, and his 2017 Leader Column in the Reporter.

EU national staff - current situation

By 31 December 2020 all EU nationals who wish to remain and work in the UK will need to have applied for pre-settled or settled status via the EU Settlement Scheme. You can do this now, as part of the Home Office pilot (see below) or later, by the Home Office deadline.

You will not need to apply if:

  • you’re an Irish citizen
  • you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, though you can choose to switch
  • you have indefinite leave to enter the UK, for example you have a Returning Resident visa

The University has more than 800 EU national colleagues, who are a valued part of our community and integral to our current and future success. To support them, the University will be reimbursing the cost of applications made by individual employees. If this applies to you please keep a copy of your payment page confirmation and we’ll update this webpage soon with details on how to reclaim the cost.

Negotiations on residency are still ongoing with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, though it is envisaged the scheme for nationals of those countries will mirror the EU scheme.

EU Settlement Scheme pilot – updated 20 November 2018

The Home Office opened phase two of the EU Settlement Scheme pilot to EU nationals working in higher education on 15 November 2018. 

An email was sent to all University colleagues on 14 November with information on how to register for the pilot, the details you’ll need to provide and the support available from the Home Office. If you missed it you can view the contents of the email

By taking part in the pilot, you’ll be able to make an early application for your new UK immigration status. If successful, you won’t need to apply again for the same status once the scheme opens fully next year. The Home Office has provided this guidance document which discusses the pilot and shares an overview of the application process, how it works and what you’ll receive.

Making an application during this pilot phase is entirely voluntary and there will be no change to your current rights under EU law until the end of the planned implementation period. If you decide not to apply now, you’ll be able to do so when the scheme is fully open, (which is due to be by 30 March 2019), and at any time up until 30 June 2021.

Future updates

We are committed to ensuring that EU national colleagues are kept up to date on developments directly affecting them. Updates will be available from the following sources:

HR’s International Staff pages have details of support provision for all international colleagues, including Brexit legal update sessions.

Please contact Lisa Courtney (0113 34 31833) in Human Resources for further information about immigration.

Resources and support for EU colleagues

Policy paper published on citizens' rights in the event of a no deal Brexit: In the event of a no deal exit from the EU, the Government has published a policy paper on what would happen to citizens’ rights, both for EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. Read it here 

Video of the EU Settlement Scheme information session: Emma Brooksbank, Partner and Immigration Specialist at Freeths Solicitors, hosted this special event for University colleagues on 19 November 2018. The session discussed the settlement scheme in general, the voluntary pilot and answers a wide range of questions on immigration. Watch the recording.

FAQs (updated 20 Nov 2018): Download our FAQ document to find out more about the EU settlement scheme, the pilot, who is eligible to take part and the information you’ll need to complete your application. Download the FAQs

Sample scenarios: We’ve developed four sample scenarios to help guide you through what action you might need to take depending on your job role and how long you have been a resident in the UK. Download the sample scenarios.

One to one meetings: These sessions are free of charge and for University colleagues to discuss their individual cases. If you're interesting in booking a personal meeting, please contact Lisa Courtney

Guidance on settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families: The GOV.UK website holds information on what settled and pre-settled status means, who should apply, settled status if you're under 21, getting settled status in less than five years and applying for settled status. Visit the website

Research funding - current situation

While Leeds is not as dependent on European research funding as some universities, it is nonetheless of great importance, accounting for nearly 16% of our research income.

Horizon 2020

The Government is encouraging UK research and innovation to continue to apply for Horizon 2020 (H2020) funding. It has confirmed we will be eligible to participate for the duration of the programme and intends that any funding received will be honoured for the lifetime of the project. In August 2018 the UK Treasury agreed to extend the underwrite to cover all of H2020. This is a backup solution and would only apply in the case of a ‘no deal’ scenario. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) remains confident that this will not be required and that the terms of the transition agreement will still take precedence as part of an overall Brexit settlement in October. 

Read the government’s ‘UK participation in Horizon 2020’ overview for full details.

Successor programme – post 2020

The next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be called Horizon Europe. This programme is due to commence in 2021 and will run for seven years replacing the existing Horizon 2020 programme (2014-2020). As this programme will start after the end of the proposed withdrawal from the EU, the UK’s relationship with this programme will need to be negotiated from scratch. In May 2018, the Prime Minister announced that the UK Government would be prepared to make an appropriate financial contribution in return for full access to and some form of influence over Horizon Europe as part of the proposal for a UK-EU Science and Innovation Accord.

This information note, developed by Universities UK, provides an overview of the European Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe, the background to the proposal and the key features. It also provides information on the legislative process that will be followed.


The Government has stated publicly that the UK is committed to ongoing full participation in the Erasmus+ programme until departure from the EU, with the caveat that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. In principle, we will continue to benefit from all EU programmes, including Erasmus+, until the end of the current budget plan (2014-2020).

Even if the above is not finally agreed, the government’s promise will stand, that it will underwrite successful bids for Erasmus+ funding submitted while the UK is still in the EU, even if they are not approved until after we leave. Visit the Erasmus+ website for full details.

Successor programme – post 2020

The current Erasmus+ programme ends on 31 December 2020, and it will be succeeded by a new iteration of the programme running across a seven-year cycle. The proposal for the successor programme outlines some important innovations that would make it more accessible to a more diverse community of learners and beneficiaries. It also features a pathway for participation for 'third' countries, which would include the UK once we leave the EU on the 29 March 2019. It is important to note that the UK will remain in the current Erasmus+ programme until its end on 31 December 2020. This information note, developed by Universities UK, outlines some of the changes and new features of the programme, including how the UK might participate once we have left the EU.

Please note: If you experience any examples of being omitted from EU bids, please contact Ben Williams who will continue to collate examples and liaise with BEIS accordingly. 

EU national students – current situation

A section of the University’s main website has been created, dedicated to informing current and prospective students on issues affecting them. This includes a letter sent to all postgraduate researchers by Professor Claire Honess, Dean of Postgraduate Studies.

While the University endeavours to keep this information as up to date as possible, it cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. For the latest information from the government, please visit the Department for Exiting the European Union website. Regularly updated Brexit FAQs for universities and students are also available on the Universities UK website.


EU settlement scheme – access to an Android smart phone

More appointment slots are now available for colleagues who would like the use of an android smart phone to apply for pre-settled or settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme pilot.

Brexit policy paper published on citizens' rights

The Government has published a policy paper on what would happen to citizens’ rights in the event of a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU.

EU Settlement Scheme information session

Watch a live recording of the event and download a copy of the presentation given to University colleagues by Emma Brooksbank, Partner and Immigration Specialist at Freeths Solicitors.

EU Settlement Scheme pilot invitation

If you’re an EU citizen or a non-EU family member of an EU citizen, you can now register to take part in the EU Settlement Scheme pilot.

EU colleague: Career trajectory survey

The Department for Education want to hear about your experiences as a EU, EEA and/or Swiss national working in higher education.

EU Settlement Scheme Pilot: Information event, guidance, sample scenarios and FAQs

The pilot will be opening to EU nationals working in Higher Education on 15 November. To support EU colleagues we’re hosting an information event and have developed a set of resources.

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