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An enormous amount of attention has been paid in the last year to the evolving policies related to tuition fees in the UK (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, November 2010, July 2011). These funding changes, as well as new student visa and immigration regulations (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, June 2011), have generated concerns about potentially negative effects on UK universities’ competitive position in the world when it comes to recruiting international students. So, where does the UK stand with regard to fees for international students? A new report – International Pricing Study: A Snapshot of UK and Key Competitor Country International Student Fees – aims to begin a ‘market intelligence-based’ conversation around this very issue.
Published in July 2011, the study was commissioned by the UK Higher Education International Unit and carried out by i-graduate. The goal was to provide insight into how the UK fee situation compares to that of nine competitor countries, namely: Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States. Fee data relevant specifically to foreign students in 2010-2011 were collected from four to six institutions in each of these countries (plus the UK), as a means to examine the range of cost levels within and across countries. Fee information was gathered at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, for postgraduate research programmes, and for courses within four disciplinary areas: history, mechanical engineering, chemistry or physics, and business studies (excluding MBAs, based on the study’s concerns with “unrepresentatively high prices” for many of these programmes).Among the key findings and recommendations:
This first-time “market scan” is expected to be updated annually from now on, with a focus on tracking changes in institutional pricing strategies and currency fluctuation effects.
UK Higher Education International Unit