January 30, 2015

High tuition costs driving UK students overseas

With the rapid rise in tuition fees at UK universities, more and more British students are choosing to study abroad.

Recent figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that the average cost of a master’s course in the UK has risen by 7% over the past year.

This news coincides with an analysis by HSBC Bank, which showed that average annual costs for UK students—including tuition, accommodation, and cost of living—exceed £17,000.

By contrast, students can expect to spend around £4,000 a year studying at the University of Warsaw, Poland, or nearly £8,000 a year studying at Renmin University, China. Even in Sydney, Australia, where living costs are more expensive than those in the UK, average yearly student costs are just £15,000.

More figures from the HESA show that the number of British students enrolling on master’s courses in the UK has decreased by 5.6% in the past year. Moreover, in a survey conducted by the British Council last year, 37% of undergraduates and postgraduates said that they were considering overseas study, marking a 17% rise from the year before.

Though costs are the primary force driving UK students to study abroad, international student mobility holds other benefits. Arnaud Chevalier discusses how student migration can positively affect economic growth in both sending and receiving countries. He also notes that the migrants themselves benefit from higher earnings on average when they enter the labor market.

Giorgio Di Pietro also points out that an international education can equip students with a broader array of skills, which can be particularly useful for students aiming to pursue globally oriented careers.

Read more here.