Wednesday, September 14, 2011

OECD: UK student tuition fees 'third highest in the world'

The UK is the third most expensive place in the world to go to university, it emerged today, with fears it could top international league tables when fees soar next year.

Figures show that undergraduates in just two other countries – the United States and Korea – currently pay more for a degree than in the UK.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that students were charged the equivalent of almost £3,100 a year for a university course in 2008/9.

It put the UK above Japan and Australia and significantly higher than European competitors such as France, the Netherlands and Sweden, where tuition is free.

Separate figures show that UK students currently contribute two-thirds of the cost of a degree course – more than double the OECD average and around twice the proportion a decade ago.

The findings come before the cap on tuition fees almost trebles to £9,000 for students starting courses in 2012, which could lead to the UK topping the table in coming years. more

According to the OECD, a sharp rise in the cost of higher education in the US has already led to a relative stagnation in the number of people going on to university.