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.
The following are opinion, not fact, as AFAIK nobody has a clue what a potential post-Brexit academic situation would look like:
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
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.