Parents could save thousands of pounds a year by sending their youngsters to university abroad compared to the costs of studying in the UK.
According to research from currency specialist Caxton, the combined cost of moving, living and studying in some places around the globe is up to £15,000 less each year than the potential costs of studying in the UK.
Freshers heading to Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich, for example, would pay just £9,097 per year in total – less than UK students fork out for tuition alone.
Taking a four year course at the German uni would add up to £36,387 compared to £104,000 for four years of study at the UK’s Royal Academy of Music in London.
Money saver: Studying abroad could cut the cost of university education for UK students
With UK tuition fees of up to £9,250 a year, the Caxton research found that, unsurprisingly, 70 per cent of British students think universities in the UK charge too much. Almost half now think they are more likely to get value for money by studying abroad.
As a result, more and more students are taking the leap. There are currently 11,000 British young people studying in America, an increase of 30 per cent since 2013, and the numbers of UK students in Canada, France, Germany and the Netherlands are also growing.
Which universities offer students value for money?
While the most expensive place to earn your degree from in the UK is Royal Academy of Music in South Kensington, setting students back as much as £26,518 per year, studying outside of London costs much less – largely due to the lower costs of accommodation.
The combined costs of living and studying in major cities including Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds come to between £15,000 and £17,000 a year, according to GoCompare’s Degree of Value tool.
But even those studying at these more affordable British universities could pay less by heading abroad to Sweden, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, China and Germany.
Good value options include Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Lund in Sweden, the University of Hong Kong and Peking University in China, according to Caxton.
Parents sending their children to study at these universities would all pay less than £26,000 a year for living and tuition fees combined.
Great value: Studying at Lund University in Sweden would cost less than UK universities charge in fees
To put this into context, over the course of four years studying in Germany would cost £36,387 versus £69,992 if you study at the University of Leeds.
Higher up the world rankings are the University of Melbourne at National University of Singapore. Both score highly for how employable their graduates are too.
Moving and studying in Melbourne and Singapore both come out less expensive than the maximum UK figure at £23,559 and £25,974 respectively per year.
The downside is that students studying abroad don’t get funding from the Student Loans Company – unless the time abroad is temporary and part of an exchange scheme.
Expensive option: UK Students would pay £45,524 to attend Harvard University in the US
Parents wanting to send their kids to some of the highest ranked universities in the world would likely be better off staying within the UK if money is also a consideration.
Living and studying at the likes of Stanford or Harvard would cost £45,189 or £45,524 a year respectively compared to an annual cost of £18,814 at Oxford University.
|University||World Ranking||Employability Ranking||Cost of living annually||Cost of living over four years||Savings with Caxton (duration of study)|
|Stanford University – US||2||1||£45,189||£180,756||£3,702 (4)|
|Harvard University – US||3||3||£45,524||£182,096||£3,725 (4)|
|University of Melbourne Australia||32||7||£23,559||£94,236||£2,275 (4)|
|National University of Singapore, Asia||22||30||£25,974||£103,896||£2,538 (4)|
|University of McGill, Montreal, Canada||35||42||£29,505||£118,020||£2,667 (4)|
|University of Hong Kong||44||20||£25,033||£75,099||£1,779 (4)|
|Peking University China||41||23||£18,236||£72,944||£1,924 (4)|
|Lund University Sweden||93||Not Ranked||£9,719||£29,157||£1,021 (3)|
|Maastricht University Netherlands||103||171||£11,129||£35,151||£1,120 (3)|
|Ludwig-Maximillians, Germany||66||131||£9,097||£36,387||£1,140 (3)|
|The annual cost of further education and living in the UK can reach up to £26,000, £78,000 over three years and £104,000 over four years
How to pay for university abroad
Sending your teenager to study outside the UK will require you to send money abroad to pay for fees, accommodation and spending, which will be particularly expensive if you use your bank.
Most charge a one-off fee for payments which can be up to about £40 per go.
Caxton operates its own international payments service offering bank-beating fees when sending money abroad.
It estimates that parents using it’s own Premier service for money transfers would save £3,700 per year in fees compared to the likes of Natwest or Lloyds.
Before you send money abroad you should always make sure to compare the costs. Specialist online foreign exchange companies typically offer the best rates.
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