Fees for International students have skyrocketed in recent years, making them a regular topic of debate. Students from the United Kingdom and the European Union are now compelled to pay up to £9,250 ($13,050) per year to attend English universities.
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There is a wide range of tuition prices for international undergraduates, starting at roughly £10,000 (US$14,130) and ranging as high as £38,000 (US$53,700) or even higher for medical degrees). On average, humanities and social sciences degrees are the least expensive, while laboratory and clinical degree programs are the priciest; but with the average annual cost of living in the UK hovering at £12,200 (US$16,950), it’s hard to see how studying in the UK is affordable.
It is believed that the average cost of studying in the United Kingdom is at least £22,200 (about $31,380) per year, with studying in London likely to be much more expensive. However, most UK universities offer shorter programs than their counterparts in the United States (three years for an undergraduate degree instead of four, and a year for a master’s degree in place of two), Because of this, you may eliminate a year’s worth of tuition and living expenditures from your overall budget.
Here’s a closer look at what your money will be spent on and how Brexit may affect your expenditures if these figures weren’t enough to put you off studying in the UK.
The cost of living for international students that stays in the United Kingdom
Your bank account must have a minimum of £1.015 (US$1.435) in it each month you plan to spend outside of London in order to be eligible for a student visa. This is equivalent to a yearly wage of £12,180 ($17,200).
Student living costs in London are significantly higher, with a minimum monthly budget of £1.265 (US$1,800) and a yearly budget of £21,600 (21,500 US dollars).
Utilize student discounts when you arrive in the UK to lower your living expenses. Examples include the 18+ Student Oyster photocard that gives students in London 30% off travelcards and bus/tram tickets, as well as the NUS Extra Card that is available to students across the UK.
Choosing a university in a lower-cost area of the UK is another way to beat the banker and stretch your money further. Natwest Student Living Index 2017 ranks Cardiff, the capital of Wales, first among student-friendly cities in the UK, followed by Aberdeen in Scotland and Durham in the northeast of England.
Cost of Accommodation
In their first year, most students live in university residence halls before transferring into rented private housing in their second and third years. Many institutions offer both self-catered and catered resident halls, with the latter including meals in the rent.
In London, rent is the most expensive part of living, with University College London (UCL) estimating housing costs of £8,073 (US$11,400) each academic year (nine months/39 weeks). University halls or a flat-sharing may offer more economical options.
Student housing costs an average of £125 (US$175) a week in the UK, according to the Save the Student National Student Accommodation Survey 2017. However, this figure varies greatly by region, with the cost of student housing in Northern Ireland being half that of students in London (US$257). Your monthly utility and internet expenses are likely to be around £70 (US$100) if they’re not included.
Average living expenses in the UK.
Buying groceries on a weekly basis can cost you around £30/$42 while eating out at a bar or restaurant can cost you around £12/$17.
With the cost of textbooks and other course materials, you can expect to spend at least £30 a month on your course.
It’s expected that your monthly mobile phone cost will be at least £15/$22.
A monthly gym membership costs about £32/$45, however there may be a student discount.
£30/$42 is an average night out outside of London.
If you want to watch TV in your room for amusement purposes, you will need to pay a TV license of £147 (US$107) every year. About £10/$14 will get you a movie ticket.
It is possible that you spend £35-55 (US$49-77) on clothing per month, depending upon your habits.
Students from the United Kingdom and the European Union pay the same tuition fees.
At publicly supported UK universities, there are two tiers of tuition costs: home student fees (which include EU students) and international student fees. Undergraduate degree programs in England cost a maximum of £9,250 (US$13,050) per year for home students in England.
For EU and Northern Irish students, the maximum fee in Wales is £9,000 (about US$12,700), while in Northern Ireland, the maximum fee is £4,160 (around US$5,900), and it goes up to £9,250 for students from the rest of the UK.
As a result, a student from Scotland or the EU can earn a bachelor’s degree for free. A grant from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland has made this possible (SAAS). A tuition-price loan of up to £7,770 is also available from the SAAS for home postgraduate students.
Note that the Scottish definition of “home” student differs slightly in that it does not include students from the rest of the UK – that is, from England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Scottish undergraduate students from the rest of the UK will have to pay up to £9,250 a year.
Another positive development involves students from Wales. They will only have to pay a tuition price of £4,800 per year (about US$5,500), with all other costs reimbursed by Wales.
According to the university and discipline, postgraduate tuition fees might vary significantly. Students who live at home may be eligible for financial assistance from the institution, the UK’s research bodies, or a career sponsorship program.
International students’ tuition expenses in the United Kingdom
Student costs ranged from £10,000 (US$14,130) for lecture-based courses up to £38,000 (US$53,700) or more for a top undergraduate medical degree in 2017/18, according to the university. Find out which universities in the United States are the cheapest for international undergraduates by visiting this page.
International costs for classroom-based programs at the postgraduate level in 2017/18 ranged from £11,000 (about $15,545) to £32,000 (roughly $45,200). A typical laboratory-based program costs between £12,000 to £27,200 per year. You may see a list of the cheapest UK universities for overseas postgraduates by clicking on this link.
Student financial aid in the United Kingdom.
Students from the United Kingdom and the European Union may be eligible for loans, grants, and other types of financial aid to help pay for their tuition in the United Kingdom. The amount of financial aid varies by region. However, even though student loans for international students normally cover all tuition costs, the supplementary loan to cover the cost of living in the UK is sometimes insufficient.
A student studying outside of London could borrow up to £11,002 (about $15,500) in the 2017/18 academic year, whereas a student studying in London could borrow up to UK£8,430 (about $11,900). In either case, you’ll be short by several thousand pounds in terms of annual expenses.
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Private UK institutions (of which there are only three) allow home students to apply for tuition fee loans, as well as for maintenance loans and maintenance grants. In some cases, nevertheless, a student loan may not cover the entire cost of tuition fees.
Other sources of funding for education in the UK include government, private universities, and independent organizations. The British Council and other organizations have scholarships available, and the Education UK website has a list of them. It’s also a good idea to examine what government and non-profit scholarships and assistance programs are available in your own country.