United Kingdom: Rising tuition fees

EducationWorld July 2022 | International News Magazine

Several UK universities are raising their headline postgraduate fees by 10 percent or more next year, suggests an analysis of the latest course data for 2022-23. By benchmarking data on individual courses collected from institutional websites, The Knowledge Partnership (TKP) suggests that ten institutions will raise tuition fees by 10, with many more increasing fees by at least 5 percent.

Examples include Birmingham City University, where the average international postgraduate taught fee is set to rise by 20 percent to £16,400 (Rs.15.7 lakh) for 80 courses with comparable fees between 2021-22 and 2022-23, and London Metropolitan University, where the average is rising by 16 percent to £15,700 (Rs.15.07 lakh), based on 65 courses. The role of inflation in that is unclear given that many fees would have been set before the current inflation spiral began making headlines.

Some variation in TKP data also suggests that price elasticity — the degree to which raising fees affects demand for courses and, therefore, student numbers — could have been more central to decision-making rather than inflationary pressures in 2022-23. Amy Ross, a senior market insight analyst at TKP (a Times Higher Education company), says “many institutions have fee-setting procedures that make decisions well in advance of their public release”. “It seems likely that fee increases next year will continue to be significant as inflationary pressures make themselves felt,” she adds.

A Birmingham City spokesman said its international postgraduate fees “reflect the costs of delivering our courses, specific services required to ensure the best support possible for our overseas students, and the continual improvement of our academic offer”. Meanwhile, London Met said it had introduced “generous scholarship packages” for eligible students, which means that in “real terms, the cost of our courses has only increased very slightly for most”.

(Excerpted and adapted from The Economist and Times Higher Education)

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