Tuition fees cannot continue to rise for International Students

All international students share the same sinking feeling when looking at tuition fees for studying away from home. You would think that with the impossibility of a student loan, pressures of scholarships and not having the option to live at home, universities would perhaps feel a little bit sympathetic and not charge international students an arm and a leg to study abroad. However, each year the fees continue to rise, along with the eyebrows of the parents paying for them.

To think that during 2011-2012 the steepest international fees for the University of Nottingham ranged around the mid-£11,000s is almost dream-like, for this year’s average fees are taking a depressingly high turn into the low £17,000s – and without warning. The courses with such a dramatic price increase are mostly sciences, such as biology and medicine – however the expensive price tag has also attached itself to more humanities based courses such as geography.

The NUS has taken notice and have launched a petition to demand fixed rates on international fees to avoid unexpected rises

The most shocking comparison between the University of Nottingham’s home and international fees is probably for Veterinary Medicine & Veterinary Surgery – with home being £9,000 and international being £25,690. Initially you’d think that for that price, international students are also getting coverage on Fresher’s week, maybe even next year’s accommodation – but no!

The NUS has taken notice of this and have launched a petition to demand fixed rates on international fees to avoid unexpected rises. Not only would this make total sense, but it would also help with not breaking the bank when a bill of almost double last year’s fees was presented at your doorstep. This petition will go forward to the Vice Chancellors and principals of UK universities, who will hopefully see the light and make enforce some sort of fixed rate in the near future.

An article published in the Journal of International Students last year reported on the benefits of International students for their fellow classmates. Students acquired more expected skills such as learning new languages and relating well to people of different cultures; they also developed a wide range of cognitive skills, amongst them the ability to question their own beliefs and values and work as innovators and integrators, with “significantly higher levels of skill development” than those who reported little or no interaction.

We must, therefore, see beyond the arbitrary economic value attributed to international students. In their absence, British institutions would be less diverse, lively and dynamic.

Talla Buffery

Image courtesy of Nottingham Trent University via Flickr

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