22 March 2019
Photograph: Taylor McDaniel
Students can return home and finish their studies here in Scotland
A statement was given by Richard Lochhead on 14 March on financially supporting students studying in the EU on their return to Scotland.
The announcement on the gov.scot website came after the defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal in parliament on 12 March.
The Scottish government previously shared an action plan for those in higher education whose situation would become uncertain by the UK’s leave of the EU.
The action plan for further and higher education was introduced to provide information for those working or studying at Scottish colleges and universities. The government is keen to continue supporting students and will keep making the case for continued freedom of movement and protections of the right of EU citizens already working and studying in Scotland.
Students leaving Scotland for further education in EU countries are at risk of immediately becoming liable for international student fees, medical care and travel insurance – depending on the final decisions made on Brexit.
Lochhead, the minister for further education, higher education and science, said in his statement: “Today, I want to offer reassurance to those students. If you left Scotland to study in the EU, and Brexit means you are forced to give up your studies, we guarantee to provide student support and tuition fees to eligible students so you can study here in Scotland. That is a guarantee you can bank on in these uncertain times.”
The government wants to guarantee students studying abroad that they will receive the cost of living and tuition fee support to finish their studies at home.
Megan Campbell, a Scottish student, is planning on spending half a semester abroad, which will see finishing her dissertation in Fernand-Brau University in Barcelona in 2020.
She said: “I’m very cautious about it right now, and if Brexit does happen I don’t think I will go. I wouldn’t be able to afford the international student fee and so if I had to pay that, studying abroad wouldn’t be an option for me. I would probably come back to Scotland.”
The Scottish government are working with Scottish Student Awards Agency (SAAS) in order to help guide students studying abroad in transferring to Scottish Institutions to finish their studies, should it becomes necessary.
Infographic: Dora Pongracz