European Union students enrolling in English universities in 2019-20 will pay the same tuition fees as UK students and remain eligible for financial support for the duration of their courses, the Department for Education has announced.
The government also said that the maximum tuition fees that a university will be able to charge will be frozen for the second consecutive year in 2019-20 at £9,250.
In February, the Scottish government confirmed that EU students arriving in 2019-20 would receive free university tuition.
Education secretary Damian Hinds said that students from the EU “make an important contribution to the universities sector and it is a testament to our system that so many students from abroad choose to come and study here”.
“Today, we are providing clarity and certainty on their fees for the duration of their courses,” he said, adding that he wants “everyone with the talent and potential to be able to take advantage of our world-class universities”.
Alistair Jarvis, Universities UK chief executive, said the announcement "provides much needed clarity for EU students and for universities".
"Students from EU countries can now apply for places on undergraduate courses starting in autumn 2019 with the confidence that they will not have to pay up-front tuition fees and will remain eligible to receive government-backed loans to cover their tuition fee for the duration of their courses," he continued.
Mr Jarvis said that “EU students make an important contribution to our universities, enriching our campuses culturally and academically".
He added on domestic funding: “Another year of freezing tuition fee levels for English students will put additional pressures on university finances. Universities continue to work hard to seek efficiencies and deliver value for money for students.”
Tim Bradshaw, chief executive of the Russell Group, said: “Today’s announcement could not have come a moment too soon. Applications open in a just a few months and many prospective students are already attending open days and making their decisions.
“It is important that, after Brexit, the UK can continue to compete as a top destination for international talent.
“Russell Group universities receive over 100,000 applications from EU students each year. They enrich campus life and provide a welcome boost to the UK economy.”
Last October, prime minister Theresa May said that the government would “scrap the increase in fees that was due next year [2018-19] and freeze the maximum rate” in England while it undertakes a “major review of university funding and student finance”. The review is due to conclude in early 2019.
Ms May also increased the amount that graduates can earn before they need to repay their loans to £25,000.