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Brexit and Scottish colleges and universities

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is working with colleges, universities, the Scottish Government, and wider stakeholders to identify and respond to the potential impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

On 31 January 2020, the UK left the EU, entering the transition period which will last until at least
31 December 2020. The UK and EU will now negotiate the terms of their future relationship. Although a
no-deal Brexit is now less likely, it is still a possibility.

Our Brexit Update [PDF] covers the UK withdrawal on 31 January, the transition period and negotiating the future relationship between the EU and UK. We will continue to update this page as political developments occur.


Our work has included:

Producing or contributing to reports and publications

We published guidance for Scottish colleges and universities on managing a no-deal Brexit, as well as a Brexit checklist. As the UK has now left the EU with a deal, we have removed these documents. The claim that no-deal remains a possibility is broadly correct, although it’s important to emphasise that this is a different type of no-deal to the one that was commonly discussed in the lead up to the previous Brexit deadlines. We are updating the no-deal guidance to reflect this development, and will publish it when ready.

On 9 December 2018, we published a briefing of the potential impacts on colleges and universities of the UK leaving the EU [PDF].

The College Brexit Forum (the Forum) produced the report EU Exit - Impact on Colleges [PDF] to provide a strategic overview of the potential challenges facing the college sector in Scotland as a result of Brexit. The Forum is made up of representatives from Colleges Scotland, Scottish Government, NUS Scotland, the College Development Network, EIS, Unison, and SFC.

Responding to consultations

As part of our work we have provided responses to consultations on a range of issues covering topics such as the Horizon programme, European Structural Funds, the future of immigration, and international engagement post-Brexit. Copies of our formal submissions are below:

Replacement of European Structural Funds in Scotland Post EU-Exit [PDF]
Funding of EU Structural Fund Priorities [PDF]
External affairs [PDF]
Future frameworks for international collaboration [PDF]

Consultations have been at a Scottish, UK and European level. Please contact a member of the team if you would like to discuss any of our responses.

EU Exit team