Students are becoming economic expats as they look for cheaper study costs at university as tuition fees soar in England.
The UK is the fourth most expensive place to study for English student and is only marginally cheaper than Australia, the US and Canada, even when the cost of return flights is factored in to the budget.
Germany is the cheapest place for expat students to study – with a year of study in the UK 3.7 times higher, according to a study by HSBC Bank.
The research showed the average cost of tuition, living and accommodation for English students in the UK is £15,586 for 2012-13 academic year as rising tuition fees added 56% to higher education costs.
Students heading overseas
Canada’s average combined cost this year including flights is £15,671 – less than £100 higher than the UK total; despite two return flights a year to Canada from the UK costing around £1,200.
HSBC’s James Yerkes said: ”We have seen increasing requests for assistance from parents whose children are heading overseas to study.
“While many people have focussed on English speaking destinations, our research shows that these are among the most expensive places for English students to study. With studying costs in Europe falling, the continent should be given serious consideration. Many universities offer courses taught in English, and the benefits of speaking another language may add to students’ employability after graduation.
“Given students’ higher than average total of regular payments – for monthly accommodation charges, books, and travel expenses – they are well placed to take full advantage of favourable exchange rates and the much lower cost of studying abroad.”
German degree costs less than a year at a UK uni
The cost of a degree course in Europe has dropped 3.6% over the past year due to positive exchange rates and low inflation.
“Germany is the least expensive student destination for English students; with education over the past three years costing just £12,893,” said Yerkes. “At current prices funding an entire degree in Germany costs less than a single year in a British university for English students. Germany also has the lowest living costs and has seen the biggest fall in overall cost this year of 5.47% thanks to favourable exchange rates and low inflation.”
The bank also disclosed other European countries have experienced similar decreases, due to a fall of more than 7% in the value of the euro, Danish krone and Finnish markka against the pound.
The cost of studying in Denmark fell by 5.04% for English students in the past year. Similarly, costs were 4.99% down in France.