Since 2005 the UK higher education system has hosted a steadily increasing number of European students from outside the UK. EU students hold a widespread reputation of being capable and driven, and these qualities have made them desirable to UK universities. While their participation varies between institutions, and between the hierarchical layers of the sector, they have become recognised as a vital contributor to the diversity of the student fabric on UK campuses. However, following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (commonly referred to as Brexit) EU students will soon pay higher fees in the UK and lose access to the UK’s pay later tuition loans. Additionally they will be subjected to visa requirements and their post-study stay will be constrained by migration rules. Consequent to these changes, among others, it is anticipated that the amount of EU students opting to study in UK universities may decline by up to half of their pre-Brexit numbers. These projections provide a window through which we can examine what the potential loss of European students would mean for institutions across the UK. To that end, this paper examines interviews conducted in 12 UK universities with 127 participants pre-Brexit, predominantly senior executives and members of academic leadership. The analysis uncovered a number of institutional representations of EU students that arose in response to Brexit, most often concerning: student numbers and income; diversity; and quality. Representations varied geographically across the different nations of the UK, largely due to the differences in funding regimes unique to each but also institutional hierarchies within a stratified higher education system. The specificities of institutional representations within each nation highlighted the differential impacts the loss of EU students may have on universities across the sector, with notable implications for: future recruitment strategies; intra- and international competition; the breadth and nature of subject and study programme offerings; the creation and maintenance of collaboration networks; and interactions between students, funding, and research.