Brexit Update

Brexit Update

Published: 30/08/2019

Brexit Update – August 19

As everyone will be aware the UK Government’s current stated position is that the UK will leave the EU on October 31, 2019, whether or not a withdrawal agreement is in place by that date.

This, coupled with the volume of debate and flow of information around this issue currently, is creating significant uncertainty for us all. Please be assured that the CSMT and colleagues around the Conservatoire, particularly in AAS and HR, are doing all they can to protect the interests of our staff and student community and we will share any new information we have.

The UK and Scottish Governments have both set up information portals. They can be accessed via the following links:

UK Government:

Sector-specific information is available via:

Universities UK –

Student Awards Agency Scotland –


Some key points:

EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens:

RCS is an international and inclusive community enriched by the diversity of its staff and students. Members of staff who are EU nationals may find the following link helpful

We would advise EU nationals (except those from the Republic of Ireland) to apply for ”˜settled status’ under the EU settlement scheme.


EU, EEA and Swiss Students:

RCS warmly welcomes EU students. The Scottish Government has confirmed the fee status of EU students entering undergraduate programmes in 2019-20 and 2020-21 will remain eligible for home fees status for the duration of their programme..

For further information go to


International Travel

There is the potential for some disruption to travel between the UK and EU countries.

Members of staff and students are reminded that, in the event of a no-deal withdrawal,EU countries may not admit individuals with passports which are due to expire within six months of the date of travel.

In addition, health insurance may be required for personal travel to EU countries.

Erasmus Exchanges

In the event of a no-deal withdrawal on 31 October, all student exchanges that have started on or before that date will be guaranteed by the European Commission.

Regardless of any Brexit outcomes RCS remains an outward-looking, inclusive and welcoming community within which our individual and institutional European connections continue to be of great importance and valueWe will continue to share updates as soon as we have them.


Brexit Update – April 19

Support confirmed for 2020/21 academic year.

EU citizens who study a Further or Higher education course in Scotland in the 2020/21 academic year will be charged the same tuition fees and will get the same fee support as Scottish students for the entirety of their courses. This will mean that the vast majority of EU students will be guaranteed free tuition. Having previously committed to continuing this funding for 2019/20, the Scottish Government has confirmed today that it will continue to financially support eligible EU students starting their studies in 2020/21. This offer of tuition fee support will stand even if current legal obligations to EU students cease to apply when the UK exits the EU – and this announcement makes Scotland the first nation in the UK to offer this commitment. More information on the Government website about the extension of free tuition for EU students.

Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said:
“Scotland is an open and welcoming country with world-leading further and higher education institutions and we value the contribution that EU nationals make to our campuses.

“I am pleased to be able to confirm that we will continue to fund EU citizens who want to come here to study and I would encourage anyone thinking about their education to consider coming to Scotland.

“Brexit remains the greatest threat facing our colleges and universities and I hope that, in a time of uncertainty, this announcement will provide the clarity that our academic institutions need to plan for the 2020/21 academic year.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, Convener of Universities Scotland and Principal of Edinburgh Napier University, said:
“It is really positive that the Scottish Government has made this commitment now as it provides much-needed certainty for potential students and for institutions.

“Brexit uncertainty continues to loom large over universities so the fact that the Scottish Government has acted decisively in the midst of that speaks volumes about Scotland’s values and our desire to remain open and welcoming to the rest of the world.”

Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said: “It is a very welcome development that the Scottish Government has extended this financial assurance. “There were approximately 16,000 non-UK EU nationals enrolled in Scottish colleges in 2016-17 and, as a sector, we recognise and value the significant contribution they make to our institutions and society, so we are determined to do all we can to continue attracting those students to colleges in a post-Brexit landscape.”

Liam McCabe, NUS Scotland President, said: “In the face of ongoing Brexit uncertainty, today’s announcement is welcome, providing much needed clarity to EU students. “International students whether from the EU or elsewhere make huge social, cultural and economic contributions to their communities, our universities and colleges, and to Scotland as a whole. It’s right that the Scottish Government takes steps to ensure Scotland remains an attractive, welcoming place to study with opportunities for students across the world.”

Martin Fairbairn, Chief Operating Officer at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Today’s announcement is very welcome because it helps safeguard the diversity that has helped create Scotland’s international reputation for learning, research and innovation. And it reduces at least some of the uncertainty for potential students, colleges and universities that is a result of Brexit.”

Non-UK students from the EU will be eligible for tuition fee support. Of those, any student who is regarded as a migrant worker or who has been resident in the UK for three years or longer, will also be entitled to living cost support.

Under EU law, the Scottish Government is required to ensure that EU citizens are charged the same tuition fees and provided with equal tuition fee support as Scottish-domiciled students. It remains unclear whether the EU obligations in relation to student finance will cease to apply when the UK exits the EU.

Brexit Update – April 10

There has also been an update on the EU Funding Guarantee relating to the Creative Europe Programme. High-level guidance from DCMS on how this will be delivered has now been published, and can be accessed at the link below.

And Creative Scotland has also been developing the information relating to EU exit on their website. This can be found at the link below.

Brexit Update – April 5

The First Minister has today (April 5) issued an open letter to EU citizens living in Scotland, with the message that Scotland is your home, you are welcome here, and you are valued. You play a crucial role in Scotland’s economy and public services. You are a vital part of Scotland not just for the skills and talent you bring to our country but also the diversity and richness you bring to our culture and communities.

As part of the Scottish Government’s Stay in Scotland campaign, the website has also been updated with new material to support EU citizens living and working in Scotland.Both of these can be found via the links below.

Brexit remains an issue of enormous concern and uncertainty for all of us in the education and culture sectors and I appreciate the impact this has personally on current staff and students as well as prospective students currently making their HE destination choices.

Here at RCS we continue to assert to our funders, politicians and policymakers the essential contribution our European staff and students make to this community and the vital importance to Scotland of our social, cultural and economic ties to Europe.

What we do know at present is that undergraduate EU students who enrolled at RCS this academic year (2018-19) will continue to have access to free tuition from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for the duration of their course. This guarantee has been extended to undergraduate students beginning their studies in the 2019-20 academic year who will also have access to free tuition for the duration of their course.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is an outward-looking and world-class performing arts institution which values and benefits from the rich international diversity of its student and staff we welcome the Scottish Government’s continuing commitment to EU students starting their studies with us here in 2019.

We will continue to share any updates we receive.

– Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal


You might also be interested in reading


Business boost for Glasgow city region creative arts students and graduates in new entrepreneurial project from RCS

Proudly supported by the Scottish Ecosystem Fund 2023-24, funded by Scottish Government and delivered by Scottish Enterprise From starting a company to flourishing as a freelancer … a short pilot entrepreneurial project will bring a business boost to creative arts students across Glasgow’s higher education institutions this spring. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has been