Page last updated: 3 December 2019

Leeds is an international university, and we want to continue to attract and welcome students and staff from across Europe and around the world.

We know there is continuing uncertainty about Brexit for students, postgraduate researchers and staff at the University. We are continuing to track what is happening and will provide updates on this page to help you understand any possible impact. We will work hard to ensure members of our University community who are affected by Brexit are properly supported.

We are also continuing to assess the risks posed by a no-deal Brexit, and are working hard to mitigate them as much as we can. Read more on our preparations for Brexit from our Deputy Vice-Chancellor: International Hai-Sui Yu, and our Chief Financial Officer Jane Madeley.

See the government website for information on how to prepare for Brexit.

Visa and immigration status for EU students and postgraduate researchers at Leeds

If you’re a national of an EU member state, or of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you are advised to apply for either settled status or pre-settled status to confirm your right of residence in the UK.  This is not compulsory, but it will help you to show that you were already resident in the UK before the Brexit date. This will be useful if the UK leaves without agreeing a deal with the rest of the EU, as different rules will apply to those entering the UK after the Brexit date. Find more information about how to apply

You can sign up for email updates about the scheme. There is also information available on the UK Council for International Student Affairs Brexit page

An EU Settlement Scheme advice session for European students will be held at Roger Stevens LT17 on Wednesday 11 December 2019, from 2pm to 3.30pm. Sign up to attend.

You can also contact the University’s International Student Advice Team for further information.

We also confirm that having Comprehensive Sickness Insurance throughout your period of residence in the UK is no longer a requirement for settled status.

Fees and student finance for EU students

Non-UK EU students starting their course in the 2019/2020 or 2020/2021 academic years will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course.

EU students who currently receive student loans and/or grants from Student Finance England (SFE), and EU nationals applying to start courses in England in the 2019/20 academic year can find information about this from Student Finance England and read the UK Council for International Student Affairs Brexit page.

Current EU students and postgraduate researchers

EU students and researchers who started in 2018 or earlier will continue to be classified as ‘home/EU’ and qualify for this level of fee and financial support for the duration of their course at Leeds.

Study and work abroad

At the moment there is uncertainty on whether the UK parliament will agree the EU withdrawal agreement, or whether we will leave the EU without a deal.

If the EU withdrawal agreement is agreed in its current form, the UK can stay in the Erasmus+ programme until 2020 but the situation is currently unclear if there is no deal. 

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The UK Government has issued the following advice for British passport holders in Europe. If you’re a UK student, check your passport for EU travel. If you’re an EU student you should check the guidance given by your home country.

Find out how each of these outcomes will affect you if you are taking part in Erasmus+.

If you are a University of Leeds student on an Erasmus+ work or study placement in 2019/20

If the deal is agreed

There should be no disruption to your placement. Under the current terms of the deal you should be eligible to continue studying or working in Europe and be eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant.

If we leave the EU without a deal

A European Commission statement in June 2019 confirmed that Erasmus+ placements that are ongoing when the UK leaves the EU should not be stopped, even in a no deal scenario. This means that an Erasmus+ placement has that started (or is planned to start) while the UK is still a member of the EU cannot be cancelled.

If the UK leaves the EU with no agreement in place, the UK Government has issued a statement confirming a guarantee of Erasmus funding.

If you plan to work in the EU, terms and conditions of employment may vary depending on the country the work placement is in. For more information please check UK Government country-specific guidance.

If required, the University would underwrite the Erasmus+ grant for all eligible University of Leeds students undertaking an Erasmus+ placement in Europe in the 2019/20 academic year. If you are eligible for the Erasmus+ grant and are undertaking an Erasmus+ placement in Europe in 2019/20, we will contact you directly with more information and the specific details of any underwrite. Please also read the government advice on funding.

You should prepare for possible changes to how you access and pay for healthcare in your host country if there's a no-deal Brexit. However note that University of Leeds students travelling as part of their course are covered by the University of Leeds travel insurance policy. For the latest information on healthcare abroad and European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) please read the NHS advice.

If you are a university of Leeds student planning to study or work in Europe in 2020/21

Study placements to EU countries may be affected but we are working with our Higher Education partners to reduce the impact and ensure your study placement can go ahead. We can’t guarantee that all our existing Erasmus+ partners will continue to host Leeds students. We are working to secure places for our students at partner universities, with extra consideration for degrees that have a compulsory study abroad requirement. Compulsory placements may change but we will work to provide alternative opportunities.

If you plan to work in the EU, terms and conditions of employment may vary depending on the country the work placement is in. For more information please check UK Government country-specific guidance.

You should prepare for possible changes to how you access and pay for healthcare in your host country if there's a no-deal Brexit. However note that University of Leeds students travelling as part of their course are covered by the University of Leeds travel insurance policy. For the latest information on healthcare abroad and European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) please read the NHS advice.

If you are planning to study at the University of Leeds on an Erasmus+ study placement in 2019/20

If the deal is agreed

There should be no change to your placement and you should continue to receive the Erasmus+ grant from your home country as per your 2019/20 grant agreement.

If we leave the EU without a deal

The University of Leeds will continue to fully support and teach our European exchange students and you will be able to complete your semester or year of exchange as a fee-waiver student. Erasmus funding should not be affected for the 2019-2020 academic year if your exchange placement has already started at the time the UK leaves the EU. Students who are planning to study at the University of Leeds for semester two should speak to their home institutions about impact to Erasmus funding.

For a transitional period after Brexit on 31 January 2020 until 31 December 2020, law abiding EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK and live, study, work and access benefits and services as they have done prior to the UK leaving the EU. If students plan to stay in the UK after the 31 December 2020 then they will need to apply for the correct immigration status via a European Temporary Leave to remain scheme. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

If you start your education or training after the UK leaves the EU, your access to free healthcare may be affected. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website

Students are also advised to refer to information on the UKCISA website.

Staff and postgraduate researchers

The For Staff website has a dedicated section on Brexit which shares the latest updates, advice and guidance for EU nationals employed at the University.

Postgraduate researchers already studying at Leeds will receive confirmation direct from their funders but we understand that these researchers will continue on their current funding basis for the duration of their study programme.

We expect financial arrangements for future non-UK EU postgraduate researchers to be confirmed by each funding organisation when financial packages are publicised.

We will continue to provide updates through these pages and the student and Doctoral College newsletters.

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.