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BREXIT: Implications for Swiss Higher Education Institutions?

On 31 January 2020, the UK has left the European Union. This situation affects also the higher education sector.

swissuniversities publishes a list with useful links. These links compile different questions to which UK staff, UK researchers and students on mobility programmes within Swiss higher education institutions will be confronted after the Brexit. The list is thought as first orientation checklist referring then to the competent authorities. The list is by no means exhaustive. It will be updated on a regular basis as relevant new information becomes available.

Disclaimer: swissuniversities does not undertake any liability for the content of external links.

General Information

  • Safeguarding relations between Switzerland and the UK in the field of migration post Brexit
    At its meeting on 22 March the Federal Council took three decisions to safeguard good relations between Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK) in the field of migration in the event of the UK’s disorderly withdrawal from the European Union (EU). Firstly the Federal Council opened consultation proceedings on the agreement on acquired rights, which has already been signed. It also adopted a revision of the Ordinance on Admission, Period of Stay and Employment (ASEO) with a separate quota for UK nationals. Lastly the Federal Council decided that UK nationals would be exempt from the requirement to obtain a visa to enter Switzerland after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
    More information
  • Agreement between Switzerland and UK on safeguarding existing rights of their citizens
    Switzerland and the United Kingdom are safeguarding the existing rights of their citizens for the time when the UK is no longer a member of the EU. As part of the Federal Council’s Mind the gap strategy, State Secretary Mario Gattiker and his British counterpart, Parliamentary Under-Secretary Christopher Heaton-Harris, signed an agreement in Bern on 25 February 2019.
    More information
  • Universities UK
    Overview on the implications and mitigations for universities associated with a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit outcome: website


Legal Status & Residence Permits

  • State Secretariat for Migration SEM
    General Information: website
    FAQ: link
  • Information for Swiss citizens moving to and living in the UK
    Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom
    FAQ: link

Social Security

Federal Social Insurance Office: website

Students: European Health Insurance Card

Federal Social Insurance Office: website

Horizon 2020

Swiss-European Mobility Programme (SEMP)

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI: Factsheet

Next EU Framework Programmes: Horizon Europe & Erasmus+

The consequences of Brexit on the next EU framework programmes: Horizon Europe & Erasmus+ are open. It will also depend on the association status of Switzerland itself. Updates will be provided as soon as available.

Student Fees

  • UK Council for International Student Affairs: website

Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications Giving Access to Non-regulated Professions

Higher education qualifications are covered by the Lisbon Recognition Convention, which is not an EU document and will still cover UK diplomas. Therefore, Brexit has no influence on the procedure applied by Swiss ENIC.

Qualifications Recognition

State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI: website