High fees are driving UK students aboard, report claims

Research from the British Council shows that students are considering studying abroad due to the cost of tuition

More UK students than ever before are considering leaving to study abroad, according to new research.

37 per cent of the 2,630 students questioned by the British Council are considering studying abroad. This is an increase of 17 per cent from last year.

The main reasons given are that courses abroad offer better value for money, and that the chances of finding employment after studying are higher.

The number one location choice for UK students was the US, with 37 per cent wanting to venture across the Atlantic.

One of the reasons for this increase in international study stems from the increased tuition fees at English universities. 57 per cent of respondents stated that increased fees had inspired them to investigate overseas study.

The findings also show considerable more awareness of UK Government efforts to promote international study opportunities.

Another reason for the growing appetite to study abroad amongst UK students is the perception that overseas study offers better value for money. 88 per cent of those questioned believed that studying abroad would give them an improved prospect of finding a job.

Jo Beall, the British Council’s Director of Education and Society, said: “It is essential for the UK’s global competiveness that our next generation gain more international skills and understanding, so it’s very encouraging to see that more UK students are considering studying abroad.”

However there are those that believe the numbers of students travelling abroad is still quite low and those students need to take into consideration all elements prior to leaving the UK.

Vincenzo Raimo, Director of Nottingham University's international office, said: “At Nottingham University we have seen an increase in students travelling abroad, however the numbers are still quite small. There is the perception that there is better value for money when studying abroad, but students must consider the additional fees that come with this. When you study abroad you are unable to transfer your UK loan. An Erasmus course offers better value for money.”