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Will all European applicants count as ‘international students’ then? Are there any proposals on this yet? I am finishing my BA in two years and was considering applying to the UK, but am worried now that I will have to pay international fees.

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    As far as I know, European students are international students in the UK right know. The issue with fees is complicated, e. g. the Erasmus program for BSc and MSc students is not related to EU. – Dirk Mar 12 '16 at 10:02
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    European students are currently fee'd as home students, i.e. no difference to UK students. A strange situation can be found in Scotland, where, to my knowledge, home students (Scottish and EU) do not pay fees, but English do. What would happen after a Brexit is anyone's guess. I think no-one can give a good prediction and all bets are equally valid: 1. no change; 2. EU gets privileged, but non-UK status; 3. EU is treated as overseas. And everything is compounded by visa problems - although one educated guess of mine is that visa-free travel will be sustained for Western (!) Europe. – Captain Emacs Mar 12 '16 at 11:50
  • Please see this meta question for my vote to close rationale. – gerrit Jun 15 '16 at 11:16
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The following are opinion, not fact, as AFAIK nobody has a clue what a potential post-Brexit academic situation would look like:

  1. It's standard for qualitative features in regulations and costs to remain fixed for students over the lifetime of their studies. So I would guess that the fees won't change halfway through: you'll know the approximate costs at the start. It wouldn't surprise me if in two years fees for EU students would remain the same, especially if (as your question seems to imply) you've been normally resident in the UK for 3 years.
  2. I would always expect a PhD studentship to cover fees. I would be very wary of one that didn't guarantee this. The risk of higher fees should be on the studentship, not on you personally. (Of course, you may self-fund, which is a different issue)
  3. In the current UK climate I would be more worried about visas to study. With the current arguments around net migration, and the crazy situation where students are counted as immigrants, I would expect student visas from the EU to become a problem.
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    +1 These are good comments, but the first sentence is key. – Andrew Mar 12 '16 at 8:39
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    Definitely visa concerns, and the treatment at the border even with a valid visa. I did my masters in the UK (US citizen) and was treated very poorly. A PhD graduate was arrested, detained, and deported (check the news about this). It's shocking. – la femme cosmique Mar 12 '16 at 12:45
  • @lafemmecosmique, given the US now stop UK citations based on nothing more then their faith, why do you find it shocking for the UK to enforce borders in a way you don't like? – Ian Jun 15 '16 at 12:20
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I don't think it is possible to know the exact consequences unless and until negotiations are complete on a withdrawal treaty. AFAIK the main rule for this is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The UK and the EU could agree to keep some mutually beneficial arrangements. They could agree on a longer or shorter schedule for withdrawal. Or they could fail to agree on anything and the UK would be out in two years.

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