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News Story:

UK university fees


UK university fees

Expat students disproportionately affected by university fees hike


British universities are registering a record low in the number of entries for degree courses next year, according to figures released this week.


Potential students and their parents are being put off by the forthcoming hike in fees, says the research carried out by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).


Some major universities, including the City University London, have reported that applications have fallen by 40 per cent as fees at some higher education will rise to a maximise of £9,000.


Whilst the majority of all the would-be students are expected to be burdened with hefty fees from 2012, one group is disproportionately adversely affected: the children of British expatriates.


The average cost of a three-year degree course for students from overseas is in the region of £36,000, according to, an official British Council website.


Amazingly, this colossal figure does not include study materials, such as books and computers, living costs, or travel expenses.  And when you’re family is living and/or working abroad, the latter will certainly add up over three years.


"Ever since she was a little girl, we always assumed that our daughter would go to a great university in Britain.  But now she is almost ready to go, the increased fees plus the enormous extra costs incurred by living overseas, have sadly forced us to rethink the situation,” say Jill and Martin Brace who live with their daughter, Ellie, on Spain’s Costa del Sol.


"The problem has become even more acute with the crippling economic dip – business is slow, house prices have dropped dramatically, and the banks aren’t lending.


"For the time being, unfortunately, Ellie’s university plans are on-hold.”


The Brace’s dilemma is not unusual, according to financial experts.  "Sadly, the astronomical - and still escalating – fees, combined with the global economic downturn are forcing an increasing number of expat children out of higher education,” says Nigel Green, CEO of The deVere Group, the world's largest independent financial advisory.


"This is extremely concerning as an investment in your child’s education is an investment in their future.”


Green continues: "The world has changed and, now more than ever, expat parents need to make proper provision for their child’s education. It’s not cheap to have your child study at university if you live in the UK - let alone if you’re based overseas, when it typically costs a third more.”


deVere Group recommends that parents, or grandparents, of would-be students offset or eradicate fees and potential debts by saving a modest monthly sum in an Educational Planning fund.


"A planning fund of this nature will mean that people like Jill and Martin Brace will not have to worry about being able to send their children to university.  University is a big deal as graduates are still regarded as highly desirable by major employers.”