The British Embassy in Luxembourg has announced the UK Government's decision to continue postgraduate support for EU nationals for at least another year.

These funding guarantees will apply to EU nationals starting their postgraduate studies in the UK in 2020, thus confirming the continued support for undergraduate, Masters and postgraduate studies for a further year.

The guarantee ensures that those coming to the UK will remain eligible for postgraduate training support from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) organisation for courses beginning in the academic year 2020/21. It is also aimed to help maintain the UK’s research base by providing international businesses and investors an attractive talent pool to access as part of the UK’s research and innovation offer. Indeed, PhD graduates are in high demand in the UK – the numbers qualifying with a PhD per year increased by 20% between 2013/14 and 2017/18, with 92% of those graduating in 2016/17 moving into employment and further study after six months.

In addition, the UK is set to collaborate with thirteen European countries in joining the Euro-BioImaging European Research Infrastructure (EuBI), hosted by Finland. Being part of this new initiative will enable UK life scientists to access its state of the art imaging technologies across Europe as they seek to investigate more about processes within cells and organisms. The work being coordinated by EuBI could lead to new and faster drug development leading to better diagnosis, therapy and disease prevention.

Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore said: “At the last competitiveness council in May I announced EU students starting in the 2020/21 academic year will have guaranteed home fee status and financial support for the duration of their courses in England. Today I’m also reassuring EU postgraduates that they will remain eligible for UKRI studentships for courses starting in 2020/21". He added: “Science and research know no borders and international collaboration remains a priority in our modern Industrial Strategy". 

The Minister will meet with his European counterparts at the informal Competitiveness Council to discuss sustainable growth, among other things. This is set to be a key theme to Finland’s Presidency of the European Union. Minister Skidmore will also reinstate the UK government’s commitment to underwrite funding for recipients of Horizon 2020 funding and has invited businesses and researchers currently in receipt of the funding to submit their details on the web portal. Individuals will be contacted in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario and will be given details of how to get their funding underwritten.