Scottish Government reassures EU students over tuition

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Photo: BBC

The Scottish Government has issued a message of reassurance to EU students regarding their tuition fees for the forthcoming academic year.

The government, in a joint statement with Universities Scotland, confirmed that existing funding arrangements will remain in place for students completing their course as well as those beginning in the academic year 2016-2017.

The statement reads: “We know the importance of financial stability and can further confirm that those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course.

This means that the outcome of the referendum will not affect the nature or level of support for continuing EU students and those entering higher education later this year.”

Under existing EU law, students from EU countries are eligible for free tuition on undergraduate courses.

Deputy First Minister and education secretary John Swinney spoke today regarding the announcement: “Today’s statement sends a clear message that EU students are welcome in Scotland and their contribution is valued.

“We are proud that Scotland is a destination of choice for students and staff from overseas and I am firmly committed to ensuring this remains the case.”

The Scottish Government have also called for the reintroduction of a post-study work visa for international students to remain living in Scotland for a set duration of time. Swinney says that this will help Scotland “retain talent from around the world”.

“The UK Government must also clarify as soon as possible, the immigration status of EU nationals who will be living, working and studying in Scotland when the UK formally leaves the EU.”

On June 23rd, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union by 52%-48%. However, Scotland voted to remain in the EU by 63%.

The Scottish Government have since expressed their desire to remain in the European Union, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling for a guarantee of residency rights of EU citizens living in Scotland.

Following the Brexit vote, Vice Chancellor of Stirling University Gerry McCormac issued a statement reassuring EU students that there will be no immediate changes to their living circumstances.

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