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Education and skills

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Will services be affected?
Higher education, further education and apprenticeships
EEA teacher sanctions or restrictions
Data protection

Will services be affected?

The Welsh Government is working closely with the education sector to assess and mitigate the potential impacts of Brexit on schools, further education institutions and our universities.

Further education institutions should not face any immediate impacts, but we are monitoring and working with the sector to prepare. In the longer-term, we have made it clear that the EU funding which many of our colleges have benefitted from must be replaced in full after the UK leaves the EU to continue their strong record of building Wales’ skills base and spreading opportunity. Similarly, we are working with apprenticeship providers to prepare.

The Welsh higher education sector is proud of its global reach and scope. They make a significant contribution to the Welsh economy, jobs, public services and culture in Wales and it is vital they are protected.

Soon after the EU referendum, the Welsh Government set up a Higher Education Brexit Working Group to provide advice about the implications of Brexit for the higher and further education sectors in Wales.

To support our universities, we have provided extra funding to Higher Education Funding for Wales (HEFCW) to help it to deal with the initial implications of EU transition and we have funded international partnerships in a number of priority markets, including the USA and Vietnam.

Higher education, further education and apprenticeships

The EU Settlement Scheme

EU citizens and their families resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 need to apply to the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021. This will mean they can continue to live and work in Wales following the UK’s departure from the EU.

In July 2019, the Welsh Government announced a package of free support to help EU citizens prepare for Brexit and continue to live and work in Wales.

toolkit has been launched to equip employers with tools and information to support EU citizens and their families about the EU Settlement Scheme.

Staff and students from the EU arriving after Brexit

In Wales, we will continue to welcome people from the EU, including UK nationals living in the EEA or Switzerland, to work or study in Wales. Support will continue for the 2020/21 academic year. All students who started a course before 1 August 2021 will continue to receive support for the duration of their course. Students who begin a course of higher or further education on or after 1 August 2021 will not be eligible for support or, in the case of higher education courses, home fee status.

The Welsh Government intends to provide support for those who will benefit from citizens’ rights (‘Settled Status’) under the EU Withdrawal Agreement. The Welsh Government also intends to support Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

From 5 October 2020, EU nationals who intend to study in Wales after the end of the transition period, will need to apply through the new Student route before coming to the UK. More information for EU students on GOV.UK.

If you are a UK national living in the EU but have never lived in the UK

The Welsh Government will continue to enable access to home fee status, student support and access to Further Education and apprenticeships until 1 August 2021.

We want to provide assurance that the UK’s exit from the EU will not affect UK nationals’, currently living in the EEA or Switzerland, eligibility for student support or access to further education and apprenticeships in Wales until 1 August 2021.

For further information you should contact the relevant student funding body within the UK country where you wish to study for further information on your eligibility for student finance support.

Mutual recognition of professional qualifications

The UK will remain bound by the EU Directive on MRPQ until the end of the transition period 31st  December 2020. The UK government and EU have stated their ambition to negotiate a comprehensive post-Brexit MRPQ system as part of wider negotiations on the UK-EU Future Relationship, which will help the FE and HE sectors to continue to attract international students.

Travel to the EU

The current rules on travel to the EU will continue to apply during the transition period.


Student finance

EU nationals who intend to study in Wales for the academic year 2020/21 will be eligible to pay the same tuition fees as Welsh students and will be eligible to receive loans or grants from Student Finance Wales. Students will be eligible to receive support until they finish their course.

EU students should speak to their university’s student finance office or visit the Student Finance Wales website for more information about the support available.

Eligibility for places and funding in academic years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 (FE) including apprenticeships

Anyone in Wales who is 16 or over can apply for an apprenticeship and benefit from the opportunities offered. Learners aged 15 who have reached statutory school leaving age are also eligible to apply.

Anyone working in Wales who has left statutory education (usually those 16 or over) and with the right to live and work in the UK can apply for an apprenticeship and benefit from the opportunities offered; Welsh Government funding will be available to enable completion of the apprentice’s Apprenticeship Learning Plan.

For more information about becoming an apprentice visit

Business and apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are designed around the needs of the employer and can help transform your business by offering a route to find fresh new talent. Apprentices work alongside experienced employees to gain on the job skills while receiving outside training from an approved college or training provider. You cover their wages and Welsh Government offers support with some of the training costs.

By recruiting an apprentice you can reduce costs, create a pool of talent and a skilled workforce, expand your business and much more. All businesses in Wales of any size can benefit so register your interest now to find out more and recruit your apprentices today at the Business Wales Skills Gateway.

EU funding – Horizon and Erasmus+

Our participation in the Horizon 2020 and Erasmus schemes from January 2021 will depend on the UK’s future economic relationship with the EU and whether the UK government secures third country participation in these programmes on behalf of the UK.

We recognise the value of the UK being part of the European research and innovation programmes and are pushing for all association seamless transition from current to future programmes.

We continue to seek confirmation the UK government will replace research funding sources from those which we may be excluded from when the UK leaves the EU. In particular, we are awaiting explicit assurances that if the UK is unable to participate in the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funding schemes, which support world-leading breakthroughs, that alternatives will be created with the same level of funding.

Further information

Continued UK participation in EU programmes on GOV.UK
Horizon 2020: what it is and how to apply for funding on GOV.UK
UKRI funding guidance
The transition period on GOV.UK

European Social Fund

In the longer-term, the Welsh Government have made it clear that the EU funding which many of our colleges have benefitted from must be replaced in full after the UK leaves the EU to continue their strong record of building Wales’ skills base and spreading opportunity.

Checking for EEA teacher sanctions or restrictions

The current procedures and systems for schools and colleges to check for sanctions on teachers will remain in place until 31 December 2020. Any future arrangement will be subject to UK and EU negotiations.

Data protection

Following Brexit, the rules about how personal data flows between the EU and the UK will change. Visit the Information Commissioner’s website and Using personal data in your business or organisation and Brexit on GOV.UK to find out more about how these changes will affect you or your organisation.

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