Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades - Gobierno de España

Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities

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Brexit impact in the areas of Science, Innovacion, and Universities

Brexit

University Degrees

How will Brexit affect me if I have a British university degree and I want to request equivalency so that I can use it in Spain?

The draft Brexit agreement foresees that until December 31, 2020 the current degree equivalency system will remain in place. Following that date, or before if the UK leaves the European Union without an agreement, the application requirements will change. In that case, the requirements for third countries will be in effect, which include additional procedures such as obtaining an apostille.

What if I have a Spanish university degree and I want to request equivalency in the UK?

Spanish citizens should request degree equivalency directly to universities. The Spanish Government will establish contingency measures in this area in order to safeguard the interests of Spanish students.

Will Brexit affect joint university degrees?

The United Kingdom is part of the European Higher Education Area, therefore its withdrawal from the European Union will not affect official university degrees.

University Admissions

Will admissions requirements change if I want to apply to a British university?

In the case of withdrawal without agreement, the access conditions will be the same as those currently established. Nevertheless, please bear in mind that the applicable admission procedures will be those mandated by the British government for the admission of foreigners to the university system.

What should British students do if they want to access the Spanish university system?

The draft Brexit agreement safeguards the legal system derived from EU law during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years, therefore they will be able to access the Spanish university system under the same conditions as students from educational systems of Member States of the European Union or other States with which international agreements have been signed.

After this period, they will be able to access the Spanish university under the same conditions applicable for students from educational systems of states that are not members of the European Union with which no international agreements have been signed.

I am a secondary school student in the UK. Can I apply for admission to a Spanish university?

The draft Brexit agreement safeguards the legal system derived from EU law during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years, therefore they will be able to access the Spanish university system under the same conditions as those of students from educational systems of Member States of the European Union or other States with which international agreements have been signed.

After this period, they will be able to access the Spanish university under the same conditions applicable for students from educational systems of states that are not members of the European Union with which no international agreements have been signed.

University Students and Erasmus+ Beneficiaries

I am studying at a British university. Will my situation change due to Brexit?

Spanish students that have already enrolled in the British university system at the time of withdrawal of the United Kingdom will maintain their enrollment rights.

The applicable fees for EU students will be the same as those applied to national students (Home students) until the 2020-2021 academic year. Subsequently, these criteria could be modified by the British authorities, and in any case, they will be applied according to the regulations of each university.

Does Brexit affect the Erasmus+ program?

United Kingdom remains a full member of the European Union until 31 October 2019 with all corresponding rights and obligations. Therefore, the United Kingdom will continue to participate fully in the Erasmus + program.

If the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is finally ratified by both parties before 31 October 2019, the United Kingdom will remain an eligible country for the Erasmus + program until the end of the current financial framework (31 December 2020).

If the UK leaves the European Union without adopting a withdrawal agreement, the Erasmus+ Contingency Regulation would be applied to avoid disruption of student and staff (both teachers and non-teachers) in mobility projects (for learning reasons) of Key Action 1 (KA1) for all education sectors, and provided that they are in progress (to or from the United Kingdom) on the date of withdrawal from the European Union (31 October 2019 or alternative date to be agreed upon by the European Union).

Researchers

How will Brexit affect Spanish researchers in the United Kingdom?

Once the transition period has ended, the withdrawal agreement foresees that European citizens will maintain their rights of residency, employment, studies, and social security. In order to be a beneficiary of the withdrawal agreement, it is very important that all citizens are able to provide documentation proving that they are legally residing in the UK before the end of the transition period. The United Kingdom has launched the “EU Settlement Scheme” registration system for EU citizens who wish to continue living, working or studying in the UK.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is not signed and ratified, the UK can approve its own immigration regulations that would apply to citizens of EU Member States. According to information received from the British government, the UK will guarantee certain rights for EU citizens that reside in the UK on the withdrawal date and are registered according to “Settled Status.”

Spanish researchers can contact the Spanish Consulate General in London for further inquiries. The Association of Spanish Scientists in the United Kingdom is one of the stakeholders that the Consulate General will consult with on a continued basis in order to improve communication.

Research Projects and European Infrastructures

How will Brexit impact Spanish research groups that participate in Horizon 2020 programs?

The UK will become a third country, and accordingly, its entities will be financed by the UK. Although this will not harm the current position of Spanish research groups in terms of access to these programs, it will indeed affect Spanish research groups that regularly participate in consortia lead by the United Kingdom. At least initially, and until the terms of the UK’s participation are clear, these consortia should substitute UK leadership for institutions from other countries or assume the leadership themselves.

Will Brexit affect the operation of large international research institutions?

In the case of international research institutions such as CERN, EMBL, ESA, ESO, etc. significant changes are not expected, given that they are not EU institutions and do not need to report to the European Union for political or strategic decisions.

Will Brexit affect the operation of European Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)?

Depending on the agreement reached between the UK and the EU, the UK could become an associated member of the EU research infrastructures included European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures, as is the case with Switzerland and Norway, among others. It could also be considered a third country, which would affect its ability to participate in an equal manner with EU Member States, especially with respect to the distribution of the rights and obligations. This would be determined by any agreements that are approved. Special attention is warranted in the case of infrastructures pertaining to the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), which will not be able to be headquartered in the UK.

What impact will Brexit have on industrial return for Spanish companies in specific programs in research infrastructures (fusion/fission/space)?

It is not foreseen that Brexit will impact the industrial return of large international research institutions, especially in the case of those institutions that are governed by “fair return” acquisition rules such as the ESA. In any case, and given the fact that Spanish companies are well positioned in a wide array of R+D+I technologies, the level of industrial return for our country could see a benefit. This is especially true in the case of ESFRI infrastructures with acquisition policies that facilitate preferential access for companies from its partner countries that wish to participate in public tenders related to contracts necessary for the infrastructure’s construction or operation.

The Spanish government’s official Brexit web portal
Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional
Embajada de España en Londres
Royal Decree-law 5/2019, 1 March
On the adoption of contingency measures in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union without reaching an agreement foreseen in article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union
March 14th Information Session on Brexit and Spanish Universities
Analysis of the the impact on the Spanish university system of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and contingency plans

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