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UK HE ‘value for money’ say intn’l students

International students who are either already studying in the UK, or considering doing so, think British higher education is good value for money, according to new research released by QS Enrolment Solutions.

Of those asked, 42% of mature international students over 35-years-old think the UK HE is good value for moneyOf those asked, 42% of mature international students over 35-years-old think the UK HE is good value for money. Photo: Pexels

Respondents saw Germany as a better value destination and Canada is seen as an equally sound investment as the UK

59% of respondents said they believed the UK to be a good value-for-money study destination. Students from Africa were most positive about the financial worth of UK HEIs, with a net score of +60 in the QS report.

“This survey confirms the strong reputation that UK universities have built internationally”

However, respondents saw Germany as a better value destination, while Canada was seen as an equally sound investment.

Students from EU nations are also less likely to see the UK as a good value destination. The net score from EU students was +17, with only 19% regarding the UK as “very good” value, compared to 41% of students from Africa.

QS states that: “questions remain as to why EU students don’t see as much value [in UK HE] as international students from other regions”, due to the popularity of Germany, and EU students paying the same rates as UK students.

UK and Europe director of QS Solutions, Patrick Whitfield, expressed that this perception of a less well-valued UK from European students is a surprise due to the effect that Brexit has already had on the UK economy.

“International students see the TEF Gold rating as one of the top five reasons why studying in the UK is value for money”

“Given the relative weakness of the pound since last year’s decision to leave the EU, it is somewhat surprising that EU students continue to have a weaker perception of the value of UK tuition fees than other regions,” Whitfield said in a statement.

But this is no surprise to Gerrit Bruno Blöss, managing director of Study.EU, whose users are international students hoping to study in Europe.

“Germany being perceived as better value for money than the UK is in line with what we see and hear from our users. It really is no surprise with so many competitive universities, virtually tuition-free, and with a lower average cost of living than the UK,” he said.

Postgraduate students also hold a higher opinion of their ROI from studying in the UK, than their undergraduate peers. Mature students also have a favourable opinion on the matter, with 26-30-year-olds scoring +53 compared to +27 of under-20’s.

In the report, QS Solutions highlight that international students trust the TEF Gold rating, and see it as one of the top five reasons why studying at a UK institution can be good value for money.

“Better qualified staff” and high rates of graduate employment are also listed as the benefits that UK HE brings, and therefore justification for the higher fees that were seen as good value for money by respondents.

The head of policy for the Russell Group of UK universities, Sarah Stevens, commented that the results of the survey act to bolster the strength of the UK’s HE sector, but note that more can be done to ensure the UK remains an attractive option for international students.

“This survey confirms the strong reputation that UK universities have built internationally,” she told The PIE News.

“The review of student immigration that is now underway is an opportunity to look again at things like post-study visas to ensure the UK remains competitive in what is a global marketplace for education,” she added.

Whitfield echoed this in his statement, adding that there is still work to be done, in an ever-shifting sector.

“Universities need to respond dynamically to the challenges that higher education faces,” he said.

A spokesperson for Universities UK International said: “Our research shows that international students have a great experience at UK institutions.”

“The UK is the most recommended English-speaking destination by overseas students with 92% of undergraduates and 90% of postgraduates saying they are happy with their experience studying here,” they added.

Over 1,000 current and prospective international students were either studying in the UK, or interested in doing so, when interviewed for this research.

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2 Responses to UK HE ‘value for money’ say intn’l students

  1. Hi Patrick, it would be very helpful if you could cite the exact source of your article. It took me quite a while to find out that most of the information you cited could be found on the QS Enrolment Solutions’ Blog and not in the ISS 2017 Report (where the link at the end of the article leads to confusingly). However, I couldn’t find the cited statement in the Blog’s article (“questions remain as to why EU students don’t see as much value [in UK HE] as international students from other regions”). So I am wondering if there is still another source that you used for your article? If yes, I (and probably all other readers, too) would be very pleased if you could cite this source also and provide the correct link in the article.
    Also, there is a mistake in the numbers you cited: The net score for students from Africa is 60%, not 41%.
    Thank you very much for your help in advance,
    Jan Kercher

    • Hi Jan, thanks for your comment.

      Firstly, let us clear up the confusion with the numbers. Yes, the net score of students from Africa was 60+, as stated at the top of the article.
      The 41% you are referring to is the percentage of students from Africa who said the value for money of UK tuition is “very good”.

      The link at the bottom of the article has been corrected.
      The quote you cite is taken from a QS Enrolment Solutions press release, so cannot be linked to.

      Thanks, and best wishes,

      The PIE News editorial team.

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