Uni ‘risks alienating foreign students’

A government report has found that British universities risk alienating foreign students as tuition fees become increasingly expensive.

Oxford University was one of 11 international universities sampled by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), and was named as one of the most expensive institutions, second only to Harvard.

There are currently over 6,500 international students at Oxford University, who make up a third of the total student body.
This includes 14 per cent of full-time undergraduates and 63 per cent of full-time graduate students.

The Hepi report says that: “UK universities receive on average 8 per cent of their total income from international students.”

The tuition fees for non-EU students are wide ranging, with £9,605 for a Bth in Theology; £11,205 for social sciences, humanities and human sciences; £12,810 for a degree in Fine Art, with the highest fee at £23,475 for clinical medicine.

Non-EU students are also required to pay the college fee, which vary between colleges, and are likely to be in excess of £4,800 per annum according to the Oxford website.

Nisha Sriram is a Singaporean clinical medical student and is at the higher end of the fee-paying spectrum.

Nisha described her undergraduate and clinical student fees; “Fees [undergraduate] were about £15,000 pounds a year and college fees were £4000.

“On top of this, flights were £2000 and I can’t remember living costs…now fees are up to about £24,000 but flights go down as I don’t go home as often.

“Most of the people here are on scholarships and don’t care where they go, because someone else is paying for it”.

Oxford does offer some assistance, such as the Reach Oxford scholarships for students from low income countries, however, competition is often fierce.

Ingrid Frater is the current representative for all graduate and international students, and works with OUSU’s International Students’ Campaign.

When asked about the international student fees at Oxford, she said, “This week I’m going to be preparing OUSU policy on international and graduate fees […] which will be taken to Council in seventh week.

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“[There is] a University review just beginning, looking at fees policy, but want to consult widely before writing anything.”