A new £2.25 million scholarship programme has been announced for EU Students in an attempt to stem the decline of applications to Scottish universities. 

The Scottish Government said the Saltire Scholarship scheme has been designed to help "ease" the negative impact of Brexit on student numbers.

The latest UCAS statistics show that the percentage of students who live in Europe and applied to study at a Scottish university has dropped by 41%. 

However, it is not just in Scotland, as all four nations of the UK saw a significant drop when compared to the year before.

At the same time the number of non-EU students accepted to universities in all four nations showed a noteable rise.


The £2.25 funding has been allocated to institutions through the Scottish Funding Council and students starting their studies this autumn or in January can apply for support.

Scholarships will be considered by universities for Masters level post-graduate study and colleges will consider applications for Higher National (HN) level, Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND).

Minister for Higher and Further Education Jamie Hepburn said: “EU students make an absolutely vital contribution to our economy, educational environment and society as a whole.

“Our new scholarship programme will help strengthen and repair our links with the EU and sends a clear message that Scotland is open for business to European students.

“In the last year we have sadly seen a dramatic reduction in applications from EU students looking to study here, we are determined to do all we can to reverse the damage caused by Brexit and promote Scotland’s education offer globally.”

Other European countries have also shared their fears over the decline EU student applications to the UK.

Andreas Michaelis, German Ambassador to the UK, in a tweet said: "Worrying UCAS figures ahead of the academic year. I'm concerned about the over 50% drop in German & EU students starting undergrad degrees in UK.

"Student mobility is key for connecting Germany & UK. Interesting to see the number of Chinese undergrads go up again."