London Student

English students pay highest tuition fees in the industrialised world

Tuition fees in England are the highest of 34 of the world’s wealthiest countries, according to an annual survey.

Students studying at English universities were paying an average of £6,000 a year in 2013/14, closely followed by students in the US, who were paying £5,300.

However, this figure may be skewed as the survey does not take into account the fact that many universities in the United States are privately-run and charge tuition fees at far higher levels

These figures, published on 24 November, emerge from the latest Education at a glance study which is run annually by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

In recent years, many of the countries in the bloc surveyed have moved towards a tuition charge system of funding, with many countries opting to raise the maximum cap on annual fees. As in England, international students are often charged more than domestic students.

Also read: Tuition Fees Set To Rise Again


These statistics were published at a time when students are becomingly increasingly active in protesting against rising fees and cuts to higher education funding.

“It [the tuition fees] has seen a big fall in numbers of mature part-time students, an important group of access students too often forgotten” said chair of the Sutton Trust, Peter Lampl, speaking to The Guardian.

Thousands of students from across the country marched through he streets of London in the ‘Grants Not Debt’ Free Education demo on Wednesday 4 November. London Student covered the events live.

Days later the government released a green paper consultation detailing how tuition fees may rise with inflation, beyond the £9,000 per year cap currently in place.

Sorana Vieru, the National Union of Students (NUS) vice president for higher education, told London Student that “saddling students with enormous amounts of debt is simply unfair.”

She said: “Once again, access to education for groups including mature part-time students has been brushed under the carpet.

“Government cuts to widening participation funding and the planned conversion of maintenance grants to loans risks putting people off applying for university, or dropping out once they are through the door of their institution.”


Featured image via QMUL English and Drama/Flickr

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Joanna Peasland