The UK Now Has One of the Most Expensive Systems of University Tuition in the World
In a recent speech Prime Minister Theresa May said that in the UK “We now have one of the most expensive systems of university tuition in the world.”
We think that’s something everyone who might have a child at university over the coming years should ponder very carefully.
While a good education has never been cheap the latest figures tend to confirm that it is certainly not cheap in the UK. And, in fact, that it offers some of the most expensive university education in the world.
Figures from the Student Loan Calculator website say that tuition fees in England are pretty much the highest in the world at £9,250 a year. In the US they are around £6,700 a year at public universities, in Canada around £3,400 and in Australia around £3,200.
Only tuition fees at US private universities proved to be more expensive, being in excess of £25,000 a year. So Theresa May was not quite correct. But of course in practical terms these universities don’t cater for large numbers of expatriate students.
The figures show there are some countries, including Denmark and Sweden, with free tuition. But these countries appeal to very few expatriate students in the scheme of things – plus it’s of little use if your children don’t speak those languages.
Almost all courses in England charge the maximum allowed tuition fees of £9,250 per year regardless of the course. And that’s just for UK or EU students who benefit from the UK Government’s price ‘cap’. Overseas students (including Brith citizens living abroad) usually pay substantially more as the price universities can charge is not capped. QS Top Universities say that international student fees range from £10,000 per year right up to £38,000 per year for, for example, a medical degree.
According to figures from the Institute of Fiscal Studies the average UK student debt on graduation is now £50,800. Figures from the Student Loan Company reveal average student debt has doubled in just four years and in the UK as a whole now exceeds £100bn.
So is the situation likely to change? Is studying at a university in England likely to become cheaper in future?
Almost certainly not. Despite announcing a review of tuition fees and university funding the Prime Minister said that she remains committed to the principle that those who receive a university education should contribute directly to the cost.