English students consider studying abroad as fees rocket
An increase in tuition fees at English universities has led to more students considering studying abroad.
Many European countries have no fees at all and, with a greater number now teaching courses in English, moving out of the country has turned into a serious option for many students.
This week representatives from universities in America, China, Australia, Holland and other countries were on hand to offer advice at a conference attended by more than 100 students at the Leicester Tigers' ground.
Leicester College student Jamie Dumayne hopes to study astrophysics at university and is considering studying abroad.
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The 19-year-old, from Hinckley, said: "I think it could work out cheaper elsewhere, so that's one reason why I'm thinking about it, but I also think it will show future employers how diverse I can be.
"It would be great to learn about another culture too."
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College student Pooja Patel, 17, of Belgrave, Leicester, said: "I want to do dentistry and it's extremely competitive to get into UK universities now. You need top grades, and even then there's no guarantee.
"It's something I've always wanted to do so if I have to go abroad to do it, I will.
"I've looked at Prague or Valencia. I think it would be really exciting to study outside the UK. It would definitely help broaden my horizons."
In China, university fees are about £5,000 a year for undergraduate courses.
Robert Munro, a recruitment manager for a group of Chinese universities, said: "We've definitely seen an increased interest from UK students in the past year or so. The advantage of coming to our universities is that students can learn courses in English – mainly business and economic based – but learn Mandarin, too.
"Also, because of the way the housing market is, students can expect to pay in the region of just £1,000 for six months' accommodation, so there are lots of benefits to think about."
Katie Sevil, who works for the Western Australian Government, attended the conference to promote universities in Perth.
"There are lots of opportunities for students to come to our universities," she said.
"Obviously there's no language barrier whatsoever and the lifestyle speaks for itself.
"Although costs are about £10,000 for UK students per semester, there are lots of benefits in terms of low unemployment and, therefore, work experience opportunities for students and jobs if they want to stay on after their course finishes."
Australian universities have two semesters per year.
Maaike Kocken was at the conference representing Breda University of Applied Sciences, in Holland, which offers a range of managerial courses in English, including hotel and tourist management.
She said: "Our fees are low and we're not that far from home for UK students. Also, because of the type of courses we offer, there's a big emphasis on work placements and actually British students can choose to do these back home."
The conference was organised by Coventry company The Student World, which works with international educational organisations.
Manager Jemma Davies said: "We realised that, with tuition fees going up, there might be a lot more interest from UK students thinking about studying aboard.
"The conference gives them and their parents the chance to find out more and dispel some myths."