Decision made on post-Brexit fees for EU students

Image: Newcastle University

Image: Newcastle University

Vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, Chris Brink has confirmed that all current European students and those applying for a place at Newcastle University in 2017 would be only charged home fees regardless of Brexit.

The universities had been counseling the government to clarify the future of EU students, which was clouded in the run up to Brexit.

On October 11, the government finally announced that EU students registering in 2017 would be eligible to get the same financial funding as they do now.

Under the current system, EU students pay the tuition fees as home students and are entitled to get undergraduate maintenance support and postgraduate loans.

Dame Julia Goodfellow, the president of Universities UK, said that the government’s announcement provided “much needed clarity for EU students applying to start courses at English universities”.

It has been also proposed from Senate to Council to continue charging home fees to EU students in 2018 – but the decision is yet to be taken.

The Vice-Chancellor’s memorandum was published on the NU connections website that provides news and discussion for staff across the university.

In his statement, Brink denounced the Prime Minister’s speech on citizenship, in which she said: “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. “You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.”

He said: “I disagree. I would submit that giving your loyalty to a second country, and making a contribution to its progress and success, is not dissimilar to having a second child: you do not halve your love, you double it.”

Vice-Chancellor said he found ‘repugnant’ the thought that Newcastle University had been asked to monitor and report on the number of non-UK employees.

Brink made it clear that despite Brexit Newcastle University would remain an international community of learning.

He said: “We will continue to work for the idea that a university has, in its very being and purpose, an international aspect, as it has had since medieval days when wandering scholars commuted between Bologna and Paris and Oxford.

“We will continue to welcome and support, to whatever extent we can, pre- and post-Brexit, an international academic body.”

He finished his memorandum with the words: “We would do well to keep in mind that most universities will outlast most governments.”

Before coming to Newcastle in 2007, Professor Brink was Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Vesela Harizanova, a PhD candidate and a Postgraduate Teacher at Newcastle University, said: “As an EU student I feel encouraged that Newcastle University remains committed to upholding its international vision in times when the public discourse around Brexit has done nothing but undermine those values.

“It is reassuring to hear that the university is implementing policies to help mitigate the effects brought about the Brexit vote.

“I have always felt welcome here and I would not hesitate to recommend my university to any prospective students from the EU.”

Newcastle University’s statement read that it was willing to reinforce its commitment to EU students.

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