Following the startling outcome of the EU referendum vote last month in the UK and the revolving uncertainties on arrangements that UK plans to work out with the EU, it is only reasonable to expect a flurry of questions from postgraduate students on their prospects of doing an LLM in the UK.
This is especially so for EU candidates wishing to pursue an LLM in the UK with questions relating to changes around tuition fees, funding options, entry requirements, etc.
NO IMMEDIATE CHANGE
Soon after the referendum result, the UK’s Minister of State for Universities and Science issued a statement that there would be no immediate changes to the current situation and that the referendum result does not affect students studying in the EU, beneficiaries of Erasmus+ or those considering applying in 2017.
Questions about how the referendum result could affect higher education and research will be considered as part of wider discussion about the UK’s future relationship with the EU. It is therefore not known as to what the impact of leaving the EU will have on UK policy on higher education tuition fees, loans and bursaries.
Given this clarification, international LLM students (both current and future), can have their minds put to ease that no imminent changes are likely to occur. Only when concrete arrangements have been drawn up with the EU would there be more clarity on issues that otherwise seem to have caused anxiety among students via internet channels and forums.
Let’s take a look at some of these issues that universities have dealt with through web updates following the referendum outcome. This would apply to current LLM students and those planning on accepting offers to UK universities towards their LLM study for the academic year 2016-17.
EU students will continue to receive funding for the duration of their courses. For instance, it was clarified by the Student Loans Company (SLC) that EU students eligible under current rules to receive loans and grants from the SLC would continue to do so for courses they are currently enrolled on or about to start this coming year.
If you have specific queries on how to go about applying for funding on your course, then please do not hesitate to contact the college that you are interested in applying to.
2. Tuition fees:
Some colleges have stated that the tuition fees for all applicants, including Home/EU students, considering entry in 2018 (including deferred entry from 2017) are yet to be set and therefore, prospective students would then need to be vigilant on updates by regularly checking the college websites or raising enquiries through their admissions office.
No immediate changes are foreseen including in the circumstances of British citizens living in the EU, and European citizens living in the UK. This includes those studying or working at UK universities.
Colleges such as King’s College London were prompt in publishing the below update on tuition fees: “The tuition fees for EU-domiciled students are not likely to be affected over the next few years as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU. If you have commenced your undergraduate programmed of study already, or are about to accept an offer for 2016/17 entry, King’s will not increase your fees beyond the small annual inflationary increase. Postgraduate taught fees have already been published for 2016/17 and remain unchanged for this coming academic year.”
3. Future students:
Students, visitors, businesses and entrepreneurs already in the UK or who wish to come here for their LLM study, will not see an immediate change to UK’s visa policies. Several universities have attempted to provide updated information to students considering future applications to the UK for their postgraduate studies. If any of the information is unclear to you, then do not hesitate to contact the college directly.
The University of Oxford states that, “Tuition fees for EU students already published for the academic year 2016/17 will be unchanged and that for students starting in 2016/17 are outlined in offer letters. Changes to any fees and charges in subsequent years for on-course students who start in 2016/17 are set out on the Changes to Fees and Charges pages for undergraduate or graduate study.” On the other hand, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge stated that:
“ a. Undergraduate EU students who are already studying at Cambridge, who have an offer to study at Cambridge, or who apply in 2016 to start their studies in 2017, will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law. Please note that the UK fee rate may be subject to increases, which may be annual.
“ b. Graduate Home/EU students who are already studying at Cambridge, and those who have applied or are applying to start their studies in the academic year 2016/17, will continue to be charged the Home/EU fee rate applicable at the time of their application, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law.”
London universities such as King’s College London, were also swift in putting up relevant information on fees on their websitehere and here.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Our advice in general to current LLM students would be that if you still have concerns or queries that you wish to be answered do not hesitate to approach your program administrators to get them clarified. If you are a candidate looking toapply for LLM study in the UK and have specific questions, then feel free to contact the colleges directly. Also we suggest you keep an eye on college websites for updated information and links such as the UKCISA rather than causing yourself worry through speculative discussions trending the internet at the moment.
PLEASE NOTE: As a result of Brexit, from Autumn 2021 postgraduate students from the European Union studying at a UK university will be charged the same tuition fees as international students. UK students studying their postgraduate course at a European university are also likely to incur higher tuition fees than their EU counterparts. It is advisable to check with the individual universities in the UK and Europe for up-to-date information on tuition fees for all postgraduate programs.
My LLM Experience In London
An International LLM Student’s Experience