Students from the EU will continue to receive free tuition, despite the UK’s decision to leave the 27 member bloc.
EU-domicile students who start their course in 2018/19 will have their tuition fees waived following an announcement from the Scottish government.
Scottish Education Secretary John Swinney said he was “delighted” with the decision: “I am proud that Scotland is a destination of choice for EU students and I am delighted to give them further reassurance.
“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”.
Following the Brexit vote, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon vowed to guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in Scotland, and has pressed the UK government to follow suit.
An amendment by the House of Lords to guarantee such rights was defeated by the UK government earlier this month under concerns for UK citizens not receiving similar treatment from EU countries.
The Complete University Guide reports EU-domincile students make around seven percent of the Stirling University student population.
At present, guaranteeing free tuition for 2018/19 starts will depend on the longer-term effects of Brexit, but the Scottish government is moving to guarantee rights for such students in the interim.
Incoming VP Communities Jamie Grant said: “This is great news, and a gesture of good faith from the Scottish government that I’m confident our European partners will appreciate.
“Stirling remains proud of the contribution our international students make to our diverse campus; they’re some of my closest friends”.
Anni Rahtu, a fourth year student from Finland, who has spent her whole university career at Stirling, welcomed the news.
She said: “I think it’s great that Scotland will continue to welcome students from the EU by guaranteeing free tuition.
“In my opinion, a multicultural environment enriches students’ learning experience and makes them more culturally aware. For that, I am very glad they have chosen to continue their support”.
Universities Scotland also welcomed the news.