UK university fees update

2:01 pm Blogroll, Latest News, UK Education

by Danny Harrington, M.A.(Oxford), Founder, ITS Education


In line with what we were saying last week about universities beginning to raise fees under the current government decision to allow inflation-based increases, the first announcements have now been made. This is despite the fact that the increases are yet to be officially allowed.

Manchester, Durham, Kent and Royal Holloway are some of the names who have announced 2017 fees will increase to GBP9,250 per year from the current limit of GBP9,000. This is a rise of 2.8% at a time of record lows for the UK inflation rate which has been well below 1% for quite some time.

Interestingly, it was labour governments who scrapped the grants funding system and introduced tuition fees. The first were implemented in 1998 at GBP1000 per year and then raised in 2003 to GBP3000. In this sense, these rises are perhaps not too bad. Education inflation globally tends to hover in the 4-6% range. In the context of having to pay, these rises are not all that bad. The question of whether students should pay is a bigger idealogical issue.

Exeter University is one of the few so far to announce their 2017 fees remain unchanged. Of course these figures only apply to British passport holders who have met the residency requirement of 3 years prior to starting the course. Anyone else is classed as an international student and fees are much higher, typically starting from GBP15,000 per year. These fees continue to increase as per individual university needs and are often a way to cross-subsidise local students.

International students should continue to keep an eye on UK fees and the alternatives to going to UK for university. Many European universities now offer high quality courses taught in English and can be accessed using UK school qualifications. Many of these are also totally free depending on student status. Alternatively, there are now many online options and flexible ways to build a degree. ITS Education offers a BTEC HND in Business which is a globally recognised diploma equivalent to two years of a degree and which can be topped up to a full degree with one year of additional study at UK university partners. In this way, international students with lower budgets could be able to gain a UK degree for as little as GBP15,000 or about 30% of the cost of going to UK.

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