Current situation

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union entered into force on 1 February 2020. At that point, the EU and the UK entered a transition period during which they negotiated the terms of their future relationship. The UK and the European Commission, which negotiated on behalf of the EU, reached an agreement on the future relationship on 24 December 2020.

The Prime Minister’s Office has grouped together information about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the future relationship on its website, including information on the withdrawal agreement, the transition period, negotiations on the future relationship and how the UK's withdrawal from the EU will affect citizens and businesses.

Information about brexit (Prime Minister´s Office)

Information about Brexit on the European Commission’s website

Within the administrative branch of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the UK will continue to take part in the EU’s Horizon Europe research and innovation framework programme. However, the UK will no longer participate in the Erasmus+, Creative Europe and European Solidarity Corps funding programmes. With regard to professional qualifications, tuition fees and student financial aid, the UK will become a “third country” along with other non-EU countries.

Erasmus+

The UK has decided to withdraw from the Erasmus+ programme. In its place, the UK has announced that it will set up its own exchange programme. We do not have further information on the new programme at this time. Multiannual projects that received funding under the current Erasmus+ programme in 2020 or earlier can be completed as intended even if they continue beyond 31 December 2020. This means that Finnish participants’ mobility periods in the UK and UK citizens’ exchanges in other programme countries will continue as part of these projects in 2021 and 2022.

Inquiries: Mikko Nupponen, [email protected], +358 50 553 9219

Tuition fees

UK citizens admitted to Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programmes taught in a language other than Finnish or Swedish who enter Finland after 1 January 2021 (and who do not fall under the scope of application of the withdrawal agreement) will be charged tuition fees, as is the case with other non-EU/EEA citizens. Tuition fees will not be charged to any UK citizen or family member of a UK citizen who has registered in the EU during the transition period and who applies for the right of residence as required under the withdrawal agreement by 30 September 2021 and receives a certificate from the Finnish Immigration Service indicating that they have applied.

Furthermore, tuition fees will not be charged to a UK citizen or family member of a UK citizen who arrived in Finland between 1 October 2020 and 31 December 2020 and applied directly for the right of residence as required under the withdrawal agreement by 31 December 2020. UK citizens exempt from the obligation to pay tuition fees can prove their exemption by presenting a residence permit card or a certificate from the Finnish Immigration Service indicating that they have applied for the right of residence.

Higher education institutions determine the amount of tuition fees (at least EUR 1,500) and the practices for collecting them. Each higher education institution provides information on its fees using its own channels.

Inquiries: Laura Hansén, [email protected], +358 295 330 098

Student financial aid

The right of British citizens to student financial aid provided by the Finnish state will be determined based on the national legislation (Act on Financial Aid for Students). As of 1 January 2021, the provisions on the scope of application of the Act on Financial Aid for Students will take into account the right of UK citizens or their family members to receive student financial aid if they have applied for and obtained a right of residence in Finland under the withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and the UK.

Inquiries: Virpi Hiltunen, [email protected], +358 295 330 110

Professional qualifications

Persons who have received a decision on the recognition of their professional qualifications in line with Directive 2005/36/EC on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications before 31 December 2020 will have the rights laid down in the said decision in the country that issued it, including the right to pursue the profession in question, on the same terms as citizens of that country even after the transition period. In addition, applications for the recognition of professional qualifications submitted before the end of the transition period will be processed and decided on in line with the legislation on professional qualifications.

As of 1 January 2021, professional qualifications and training acquired in the UK will be subject to the same procedures as those applied to other qualifications acquired outside the EU/EEA countries.

The competent authorities dealing with the recognition of professional qualifications can provide more information on specific professions

Inquiries: Katri Tervaspalo, [email protected], +358 295 330 084

Horizon Europe

The provisions on the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe are largely the same as the existing association agreements for the framework programme. The UK will continue to participate in the programme as it did during its EU membership, but it will no longer participate in the decision-making process concerning the programme. The UK’s contribution to the programme will depend on the success of UK participants in the calls for applications, i.e. the extent to which they are included in the programmes.

Inquiries: Petteri Kauppinen, [email protected], +358 295 330 147

Copyright

The agreement between the EU and the UK contains provisions on key issues for the EU in line with EU legislation. These include key elements of protection, such as collective management of rights and the term of protection, which is 70 years after the author has deceased. The main effects are that the portability regulation for online content services is no longer applicable and online services provided in Finland are therefore not automatically available when consumers are temporarily staying in the UK, unless the service provider has agreed on this with rightholders separately. 

The current UK copyright legislation is mainly based on EU directives on copyright, but the UK has said that it will not implement nationally the DSM Copyright Directive adopted in spring 2019 that relates to the Digital Single Market. Going forward, the UK will be free to amend its national legislation. 

However, it would continue to comply with the international conventions that it has signed (such as the Bern Convention, TRIPS, WCT and WPPT excluding the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled). According to international copyright conventions, foreign rightholders are subject to the same legal protection as national holders. The level of protection provided by international conventions is the minimum requirement. In many respects, the European Union’s copyright law offers better protection than the minimum level determined under international conventions.

Inquiries: Anna Vuopala, +358 295 330 331