Education: Getting Ireland Brexit Ready

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement which was agreed by the European Council on 17 October 2019.

The Agreement includes a transition period until at least the end of 2020. During this time, the EU will treat the UK as if it were a Member State.

During the transition period, the status quo will be maintained and citizens and business should experience no change.

The EU and the UK will start negotiations on a new Future Relationship agreement which, if agreed, is due to come into effect from 1 January 2021.

Many of the arrangements in place regarding education relate to the Common Travel Area with the UK. Where this is the case, no changes to these arrangements are expected.

Further information on what is expected to change and what is expected to remain the same after Brexit is below. For more information on Brexit please see Gov.ie/brexit

Students in both the UK and Ireland regularly receive some or all of their education in either country. This is one of the features of the Common Travel Area that the UK and Ireland enjoy. You can read more about the Common Travel Area here.  


Practical Advice


Higher Education

After Brexit, Irish students will continue to be able to study in the UK and British students will be able to study in Ireland.

Applications: For those wanting to study in the UK, applications for higher education places in the UK will continue to be made using current systems.

For those wanting to study in Ireland, the CAO and State Examinations Commission are working with UK counterparts to ensure smooth continuity of the applications process. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Fees: Irish students will still be eligible for the same rate of fees as British students in the UK. British students will still be eligible for the same fee structures as EU students in Ireland.

Student Support:

Each year, about 1,500 students from Ireland studying in the UK and circa 200 UK citizens studying in the State, qualify for Irish Government grant support (SUSI). During the transition period, the usual SUSI grant rules will continue to apply for UK and Irish students. Once the transition period is concluded, the Irish Government will amend legislation to ensure that these arrangements can continue to apply to eligible Irish students studying in the UK, as well as the payment of SUSI grants to UK students in Irish higher education institutions.


Further Education

Further education training and opportunities will continue to be available to students and trainees from Ireland going to the UK and vice versa under the Common Travel Area .


Erasmus+

The EU’s Erasmus+ 2014-2020 programme provides funding for a range of international education and training projects, including student and staff mobility and exchanges, job shadowing, teaching assignments, and strategic partnerships between organisations.

The programme will continue to operate fully for Ireland and the EU Member States. The future participation of the UK in the Erasmus+ Programme is being considered in the context of the overall negotiations between the EU and the UK.

In the event of a no deal Brexit, the EU has prepared legislation which will come into effect automatically to ensure that students who are currently ‘on Erasmus’ in UK institutions will be permitted to complete their placement without interruption. This also applies to UK students studying in EU Member States.

The EU Commission has also published a helpful factsheet that covers this topic


Recognition of Professional Qualifications

Professional qualifications are specific qualification requirements that a person needs to possess by law in order to access or pursue a regulated profession or to engage in regulated activities in a given country. Qualification requirements vary between professions.

Post-Brexit, there may be implications for individuals working in Ireland or another EU member state who obtained professional qualifications in the UK, or who seek to have a qualification recognised after the UK withdrawal from the EU. However, if you have already had these qualifications recognised by the relevant regulator, there will be no change and you can continue to practise in Ireland or elsewhere in the EU.

The Government has encouraged regulatory authorities in Ireland to engage with their counterparts in the UK to manage the process of continued recognition. This website will be updated with any new information.

If you have a query about your professional qualification, you should contact the relevant regulatory body for your profession.