Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Brexit and student immigration to the United Kingdom: Points of growth and fissure


The article is made around the search for an answer to two questions: how Brexit affected the dynamics of the entry of students from the EU countries and what new opportunities it presents for the UK educational system in the future. The experience of internationalization in the United Kingdom has served as an example for many countries for many decades, and now they closely follow the changes that are taking place in its educational system under the influence of these phenomena. It is shown that there was a decrease in the number of applicants from the European Union and, conversely, the number of applicants to British universities from non-EU countries increased. Among other topics, the article also touches on issues related to the future of the Erasmus+ Program, changes in tuition fees for students from EU countries, and general problems of financing British universities. On the first question, it has been concluded that such changes do not cause serious concerns of the British government; rather, on the contrary, they reflect the new realities associated with the country's exit from the European Union and the implementation of the country's foreign policy orientation towards “Global Britain”. This new doctrine focuses on the intensive trade, economic and political development of Britain's ties with the Commonwealth and the internationalization of higher education, which continues to be a priority. International students are one of the most significant elements of Britain's strength and economic well-being. The answer to the second question remains largely open. At present, the full consequences of the withdrawal from the European Union and their severity are not yet fully understood due to the continuation of the transition period until December 31, 2020. London and Brussels are currently agreeing on the final terms of future relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union. For the UK, the consequences of Brexit have been superimposed on the manifestation of a pandemic, the end of which is not yet predicted by WHO. The current situation has already sparked an active debate in Britain and beyond about the advantages and disadvantages of distance education, about the future of university campuses, about the risks and opportunities of new technologies for learning. Although Britain is one of the leaders in the field of international education, it, like other countries, is subject to external influences, the degree of which cannot be fully predicted at the present time. It remains to observe the dynamics of the situation.


Vestnik Tomskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta-Filosofiya-Sotsiologiya-Politologiya- Tomst State University Journal of Philosophy Sociology and Political Science


Elena Khakhalkina (Russian Federation)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Year of Publication

Source type