STUDENTS in England now pay the highest tuition fees in the world, a new study has found.
Compared to their global counterparts, the average English student pays an annual tuition cost of £9,188-a hefty sum when students in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria and France all fork out under £1000 a year for their tuition.
Closer to home, students in Scotland are entitled to free tuition, and until recently, Welsh students could obtain a non-repayable tuition fee grant of £4,964 from the Welsh government.
The analysis, from website Student Loan Calculator, is sure to add to concern that UK students are put off from further study by worry of rising debts. Students in the UK do not have to start paying off their student loans until they are earning £21,000 per annum and over, however.
Although going to college in America is often thought to be the most expensive, colleges in the States offer extensive scholoarships, and have a ‘home-state’ discount, which students can get if they study in the same state they grew up in.
However, unlike some European counterparts, many of England’s universities hold worldwide prestige in global rankings, which can improve graduate prospects. The University of Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London are all in the top ten top universities in the world, with University College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science also featuring.
In comparison, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal have no universities in the world’s top 50.
Sorana Vieru, Vice President, Higher Education at the National Union of Students (NUS) said the current fees system makes higher education inaccessible to many.
“Those who do attend university are likely to be paying for their degree for most of their adult lives. Fees in the UK are set to increase over the next few years, and worryingly the government is proposing to charge more for the best universities.
“This means not only that future generations of students will be graduating with huge amounts of debt, but that those whose families are unable to support them will need to take on additional debt if they wish to access the best education.”