The increased tuition fees across England has raised the financial cost of attending higher-education institutions, but the reduced price competitiveness of these universities has also resulted in an increased UK-student open-mindedness towards studying abroad. A recent British Council survey of over 2,500 students has found that 37% of those undergraduates and postgraduates interviewed have considered studying abroad, with most considering universities in the US, Australia, France, Germany or Canada. This is one of the highest response rates to date, with the majority of students citing that they have looked at alternative courses abroad due in part to the cost of studying in the UK.
However, the increase in tuition fees has not yet reduced the number of young people applying to study at English universities, with many students still fearing not fitting in culturally as a barrier to extending their education overseas. Those that are a little braver often choose to study abroad to widen their cultural horizon and immerse themselves in an alternative language, a common reason why England is popular amongst European students. The recent findings illustrate that the increasing cost of tuition in England has now prompted more students to consider this choice than before.
The UK Higher Education International Unit has recently published its Strategy for outward mobility, in which it encourages students to take a year abroad to develop a more culturally rich and broader university experience. Many universities now offer an exchange scheme with partner universities, offering second-year students the opportunity to study overseas for a year.
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