Save on tution fees by studying outside the UK
Students who cannot afford increased tuition fees, rampant rents and the cost of living in England, could consider a continental shift – and check out courses in other European Union countries.
While British universities host thousands of foreign students, some overseas options also offer a financial escape for cash-strapped English students.
Some foreign universities have reported surging applications from the UK – notably University College, Dublin.
Students seeking a place to study at one of the Irish capital’s two universities jumped by around 30% this year to more than 3,000 applicants.
However, The Republic of Ireland is not the only option for English speaking students.
Save £7,000 a Year on Tuition Fees
Groningen University in The Netherlands is a surprise contender offering many courses taught in English and has seen applications jump by a massive 400% from British students.
The National Union of Students reckons a three-year degree course in England costs around £50,000 to complete.
In comparison, the tuition fees at Groningen are around £1,300 a year and some small grants are available to help with books and living costs. In Dublin, the fees are slightly higher – around £1,750 a year.
Average tuition fees in the UK are just over £8,300 for the 2012 academic year and are set to shatter the £8,500 ceiling next year.
“Even if books and living costs are still the same in Dublin or The Netherlands, the saving on tuition fees could be as much as £7,000 a year – a saving of £21,000 over a three year course that more than pays for the extra fares home,” said Lisa Smith of overseas financial site iExpats.com.
“In many cases, the trip home from Dublin or The Netherlands is quicker than driving from Plymouth or some South Coast towns to the North of England.”
Higher education experts suggest more than 1,000 degree courses are taught in English in Europe – with The Netherlands offering the majority across 20 institutions.
Of course, a degree and saving money is not the only reason to study abroad. Many employers are keen to take on graduates with experience of foreign languages and cultures.
Another benefit is many students can earn some extra cash by teaching English as a second language to other students or classes in the university city where they study.
For more adventurous students, a place on a campus run by a European university at EduCity in Malaysia may also offer some attractions – the cost of living and fees are well below those in Europe even though the journey home could turn out wearisome.
Photograph courtesy of Cory Barnes