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2011 year in review: Global changes in tuition fee policies and student assistance

Marcucci, P., & Usher, A. 2011 year in review: Global changes in tuition fee policies and student assistance. Higher Education Strategy Associates, Toronto, 2012. Pages: 72.

In March 2012, Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) published a new global tuition fee index which shows that, on average, university tuition fees rose around the world by 2.58% in 2011. However, due to significant inflation in many parts of the world, the global tuition index actually fell by 1.76%. In addition to tracking trends in tuition fees in the “Higher Education G-40’ (HESA’s designation for the 40 countries that make up more than 90% of the world’s post-secondary enrolment and research), the report examines trends in student aid. “The data, which is provided by HESA associates in more than 30 countries, reveal that tuition trends are volatile around the world,” said Pamela Marcucci, co-author of the report and Director of Global Policy Studies and Initiatives at HESA. “In 2012, we expect that volatility to increase, as tuition rises substantially in the U.K. and declines significantly in South Korea.”

  • Principal findings for 2011 include the following:
    In the United States and South Africa, tuition increased by more than 5% over and above inflation.
  • In, China, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey, tuition decreased by 5% over and above inflation.
  • Student aid increased significantly in Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Singapore and South Africa.
  • Overall higher education affordability increased in 2011 in Colombia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Sweden.
  • Affordability decreased in Canada, the Philippines, Spain and the US; in Canada, affordability declined somewhat, as large tuition increases were only partially offset by increases to student aid.
Higher Education Strategy Associates