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University Tuition Fee's in the UK

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Scott.
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#1

Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:13 PM

I have written a small article for WhatCulture! on this topic area, and I just wanted to get peoples thoughts on the subject, particularly those from the UK, do you agree with the tuition fees? Is uni worth all the debt? you can see my article on this topic here do you guys agree with me?

There is also a lot of articles on GTA V here, which I recommend you read! some are very good!

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#2

Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:42 PM

if you want to go to uni then you have to pay icon14.gif its not like poor people can't go either because everyone in the uk uses the student loan system and pays it back from there payslips when they get a job,

however i think they should pay the loan off however much they earn and should not have a limit on if they don't earn so much then they don't pay it off. i also think the percentage of paying the loan off should be higher off there wage slip because the loan takes years to pay off and some won't be paid off they will just be wrote off by the government which is wrong.

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#3

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

I agree, I think we should pay for our fee's and loans, and obviously pay it back when we earn a certain amount, but don't you think £9000 a year is a bit much?

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#4

Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE (Scott. @ Wednesday, Nov 14 2012, 13:02)
I agree, I think we should pay for our fee's and loans, and obviously pay it back when we earn a certain amount, but don't you think £9000 a year is a bit much?

no. if you want to go to university you pay for it, that 9k is still probably still subsidised if you paid the full ammount for the teachers time and all that then you would be looking at a lot more. you can get good jobs by not going to uni. thew fact is that most kids don't need to go to uni because if you want any regular job like mechanic, plumbing, electrics, welding and many other jobs then you can do an apprenticeship and they pay for you to go to college to get your qualifications that way. and then one day you can work your way up in your trade and maybe run the business yourself.

what sort of jobs do kids want by going to uni? ask yourself that one.

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#5

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

Well it all depends on what course they study...I'm a history student and I would be looking for a job in teaching or law...or maybe journalism.

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#6

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:41 PM

The cost issue is, in my view, entirely non-existent in real terms because those who don't benefit from the higher education experience will never pay back the debts they accumulate, which are automatically written off after a certain period, and those that do benefit will be earning well above the national average anyway. As to the question "why is it so expensive", the answer is simple- institutional bureaucracy, waste and administrative bloat. The fact that private-sector universities have been able to best around half of the elite Russell Group in recent league tables, and top even Oxford and Cambridge for employment and student satisfaction, whilst receiving no direct funding or subsidies from central government, at an overall course cost of around 2/3 of that of the top-charging "public" universities says all that really needs to be said about the state of the traditional institution. However, the attitude of academia, which is for the most part inherently left-wing, anti-free-market and anti-competition (partially for ideological reasons and partially for self-preservation) has always been that private higher education (even of the non-profit kind) is harmful- predominately because it undermines their market monopoly and has drawn a huge influx of new domestic students at a time when even top universities are struggling to fill places. Those involved in the leadership of the higher education environment are more interested in maintaining the status quo and snuffing out legitimate competition than they are actually improving the image, both national and international, of the sector.

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#7

Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

above national average? maybe but they can't get jobs because they dont have any work experience and there are no jobs anyway. most of the people i know that went live with there mom and dad and have no job or part time.

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#8

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:05 PM

QUOTE (nic_23 @ Thursday, Nov 15 2012, 16:52)
above national average?

Statistically, the average wages for university graduates per annum are around 15% higher than those of non-graduates.

QUOTE (nic_23 @ Thursday, Nov 15 2012, 16:52)
maybe but they can't get jobs because they dont have any work experience and there are no jobs anyway.

There are plenty of jobs in the economy- in fact, some sectors are absolutely desperate for new talent. Unfortunately, giving people the freedom to pick their area of study three years before they are going to enter the job market is not a particularly effective way of creating focused new talent, because the market evolves far faster than the education sector can. Case in point- three years ago, the social sciences in particular were all the rage- law and political science in particular. Nowadays, what's the greatest demand sector for high-skill employment? Computer sciences, digital forensics and information security. Chalk and cheese. Not to mention the inevitable problems caused by having 55% of the relevant age group going to university creating truly biblical amounts of job competition. Widening participation has, in that sense, been harmful to the prospects of the young, and has made life considerably more difficult for employers too. Essentially, devaluing university education.

QUOTE (nic_23 @ Thursday, Nov 15 2012, 16:52)
most of the people i know that went live with there mom and dad and have no job or part time.

I've not seen the last tranche of DHLE figures, nor am I willing to pay £55 for a digital copy of them, but previous years show an overall proportion of graduates in full or part time employment within the year after completing their studies around 80%. Whilst I appreciate that many people know many people who have left university and not ended up in full or part-time employment, all open-source statistical evidence suggests that this is not a real or accurate reflection of overall outcomes. Amongst the Russell and 1994 Group universities, the figures are consistently in the high 80% to mid 90% region- considerably higher than the average full- or part-time employment ratios for non-graduates. When those who have continued on to embark in more higher education (such as postgraduate or training quantifications) are also included, these figures near 100% in some cases. You're welcome to go through the NSS and HESA figures for university leavers to see it for yourself.

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#9

Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:28 AM

I'm not from the UK, but I'll chime in from a general perspective.

I do believe tuition should be reasonably priced and not overly excessive (how that is defined is another story) such that access to higher education isn't curtailed, but I will say this: people who go to university need to be conscientious of the job market and whether or not their degree will translate into valuable employment post-university.

For example, if you want to do a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, that's fine, but unless you want to be an English teacher, don't moan about there being little job prospects, because a B.A. in English isn't exactly in high demand.

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#10

Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:59 AM

When I went to University the grant system was in place paid by your Local Authority - Student Loan Company had only just been formed - I remember getting my first student loan - A cool £875 for the 1st semester - I felt and spent like a king smile.gif
Like most things in life we swing from one extreme to another. Many yeas ago, many people would go to University, rarely turn up at lectures, possibly leave after a couple of terms but still pick up the grant cheque.The repayment back for this reason was rare and much public money was wasted.

I can not say for certain if this was one of the fundamental reasons to why the pendulum swung the other way to now a stage where fee's and subsistence is now the responsibility of the student but it must have played some part

Now the thing I do not agree with is the interest which accumulates on the debt when your income is lower than the threshold for repayments.
If your income is above the threshold and repayments are due, fine apply interest but if your income is below the threshold, IMHO, interest should not be levied


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#11

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:23 AM

QUOTE (marmoo @ Friday, Nov 16 2012, 09:59)
Now the thing I do not agree with is the interest which accumulates on the debt when your income is lower than the threshold for repayments.

An interesting ideas I must say, but probably difficult and expensive to implement. The reason for the (albeit low) interest rates is the proportion of students who pay back nothing or near it- there needs to be some kind of a levy on high earning graduates to compensate. However, that's fundamentally unfair, as in my view is any (in effect) tax that penalties success. As I've said before, the reason tuition fees are so high is because of administrative waste and managerial incompetence in many large institutions. Just having a cursory browse through the figures from some universities show administrative costs for a single department sometimes several factors larger than teaching budgets fir the same department.

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#12

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:36 AM

But if it is a case that interest is applied on all loans at all times due to the fact there is a significant number of individuals who incur the loan but only pay back a portion or none of the loan at all, is the principle not flawed from the outset?
I agree regarding the levy on high earning graduates but with the problems we have in our nation at the moment regarding general taxation, is this possible? how would it be implemented?
Obviously under the PAYE scheme, this is possible but how would it be implemented for persons who decide, for example, become Company Directors, pay themselves a minimal PAYE salary and then pay themselves a large dividend which is not perceived as earnt income and not subject to National Insurance contributions on the dividend.

We have seen many individuals, some high profile in Great Britain who have done this due to the beneficial tax advantages

Sorry if in any way I am going a little off topic

sivispacem
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#13

Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:08 AM

Agreed in reference to companies and the issue of repaying loans outside of PAYE, but companies have other tax obligations and those that don't cook the books or use overseas arms to distort financial returns pay a great proportion of tax- arguably enough to have discouraged people from investing in start-ups. In fact, I would go as far as actively encouraging start-up companies at the expense of SLC funding as the returns are probably much higher.

The whole cost issue would cease to be of such great importance if universities sorted out their acts, streamlined service provision, were more selective and engaged more with business, enabling them to properly profit from the vast wealth of intellectual property they hold. They could potentially then even become entirely srlf-sustaining, which would be drastically more beneficial for the nation.

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#14

Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:08 AM

Agreed
I remember back in the day when industry was very closely linked to Poly's / Uni's
Example would be British Aerospace with Hatfield Polytechnic
I think it was the 90's when that link was severed. Obviously there are many many other examples

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#15

Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:17 AM

My main problem with the current university system in this country is the idea that we should try and get as many people into universities as possible, completely forgetting that an academic education isn't the best thing for everyone. I'm a big supporter of the idea that socioeconomic background and family financial situations shouldn't hold people back from higher education (merit-based admissions and all that), which is where my main problem with the current fee situation lies. Practically speaking, the current system of student tuition fee debt in this country is from all accounts I've heard a fairly successful one. It doesn't provide much of a long-term burden, it isn't a massive financial concern in future life, and if you can't get a good job you don't need to worry about it. It's more of a psychological thing in most cases, from what I know anyway.

Really, my main frustration with the whole tuition fees situation is how much of a political mistake it was on behalf of the Lib Dems, and how much of a political success it was for Cameron.

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#16

Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:03 AM

There's something that hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet, namely the discrepancy with tuition fees in the UK. Scottish residents and non-UK EU citizens (the category I am in) get free education in Scotland, while anybody from England has to pay. Even with no tuition fees, I still have to take out a loan, as it's not as cheap as you might imagine to start living on your own, away from home.

QUOTE (General Goose @ Saturday, Nov 17 2012, 00:17)
My main problem with the current university system in this country is the idea that we should try and get as many people into universities as possible, completely forgetting that an academic education isn't the best thing for everyone. I'm a big supporter of the idea that socioeconomic background and family financial situations shouldn't hold people back from higher education (merit-based admissions and all that), which is where my main problem with the current fee situation lies. Practically speaking, the current system of student tuition fee debt in this country is from all accounts I've heard a fairly successful one. It doesn't provide much of a long-term burden, it isn't a massive financial concern in future life, and if you can't get a good job you don't need to worry about it. It's more of a psychological thing in most cases, from what I know anyway.

I was pretty much going to write what you just said. There are technical colleges and other institutions out there that focus on more vocational areas of study, which are actually useful. But in the past 20 years, especially after the word "university" was cheapened in 1992, degrees have been losing their value. Now you need at least a 2:1 for your degree to be of any use in employment, and I'm pretty sure in the near future, master's degrees will be as standard as bachelor's degrees are today.

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:28 AM Edited by Irviding, 17 November 2012 - 04:31 AM.

My school in the US costs 55,000 dollars a year almost. Various scholarships take it down to around 40... so, let me say this now: if anyone has a problem with higher education costs, it's our country... though rankings do put our universities vastly above those in Europe, I think the costs are overinflated.

QUOTE

but unless you want to be an English teacher, don't moan about there being little job prospects, because a B.A. in English isn't exactly in high demand.

Even they aren't though... English teachers are probably the least demanded teacher right now. I went into school as a freshman studying only polisci... then took up economics which was a double major, and then from talks on this forum partly I began studying international security policy... the latter two are definitely both better double majored degrees for me to have than polisci, which is obviously above English in terms of job prospects but not by much if you are not planning to go to law school afterwards.

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#18

Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

QUOTE (General Goose @ Saturday, Nov 17 2012, 01:17)
Really, my main frustration with the whole tuition fees situation is how much of a political mistake it was on behalf of the Lib Dems

I did find it entertaining, though. I harped on to all my Lib Dem voting mates (mostly fitting a certain stereotype it must be said- people with PGCEs working in the education sector or those who worked in local government, but had been through university) that there was no physical way that they could widen access and reduce costs at the same time. It was a classic case of a political party saying something popular in the knowledge that they knew they would never find themselves in a position to implement it...then finding themselves having to backtrack when they get into a position where they could implement it because it was completely unworkable and infeasible.

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#19

Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:14 PM

I also found it enlightening. 14-year old me back in 2010 was fairly politically informed, and supported the Lib Dems. Then this whole thing was kind of a...lesson in reality.

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#20

Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

QUOTE (General Goose @ Saturday, Nov 17 2012, 18:14)
I also found it enlightening. 14-year old me back in 2010 was fairly politically informed, and supported the Lib Dems. Then this whole thing was kind of a...lesson in reality.

Well, that's another topic... but it was certainly interesting that (with hindsight) the Lib Dems were able to stand on such high ideals only to be knocked from them when it came to the crunch biggrin.gif

Tuition fees are well balanced as far as provision/repayment is concerned, it seems to me that the new pricing framework is causing a lot of the problems.

Universities are "rated" by the customers depending on the perceived value of their courses... so a £7,500 pa course is better than a £9,000 pa course. It's human nature for the majority to make that kind of judgement; in this case it's reinforced by the perceived honesty of an establishment such as a University. Many Unis jumped immediately to the £9,000 figure knowing that it was their only chance of surviving in the new economic terrain.

There has, however, been a significant downside; many Unis are reporting that they're not getting the uptake on courses that they normally would. They blame this on the high cost of a Uni education as perceived by potential students. This in turn raises the real-world per-capita cost of providing courses, resources and faculties and actually leads Unis into the same financial down-spiral that they were in to begin with. It also moves education to being a preserve of the well-funded, and that's the real rub because it undoes thirty years of evolving equality.

Overall I think the main worry for Unis (as for general State ed) is that our current right-wing masters really don't see any problem with a system where wealth/privilege mean the best educational opportunities. That's got to be wrong!

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#21

Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:20 PM

The problem has been with state sector institutions that because they lack accountability, there's been no requirement on them to actually provide proper value for money. Essentially, we've had a system where the 35-or-so Russell/1994 group institutions suck up pretty much all the funding- and still continue to- at the expense of other institutions, who up until much more recently have still had it pretty easy. They're several decades behind the rest of the business world in terms of streamlining their operations, which is the main reason behind many of them offering such poor value for money. I've not managed to see a single institution properly justify a £27,000 tuition only per individual for a non-intensive, non-laboratory undergraduate degree in a social science or art.

I also don't "get" your comments about wealth. The current system, with £9,000 P/A fees, is actually a creation of the Labour government rather than the current one (or, at the very least, the commission which resulted in the tuition fee hike has been overseen and implemented by NuLab) and I would argue that the efforts to try and bring more private sector competition into the marketplace (that are solely the responsibility of the Tories) are doing more for fair access than Labour ever did. The fact that private-sector institutions can undercut the traditional public universities on cost, whilst providing a better quality of education (if things like the Guardian league tables are to be believed, where the University of Buckingham trumped more than half of the Russell Group in overall ratings, coming in 16th despite being heavily biased against in the "value added" section due to not drawing down central government funding) is all the evidence you really need to suggest that they are valuable to the sector- the state-sector universities would just like the population to believe otherwise as they run the risk of losing huge swathes of their core market to private institutions who can top them every which way.

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#22

Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

Blimey, a forum where people give proper thought-through answers... it'll never catch on biggrin.gif

I see your well-explained point but I think I disagree with a fundamental tenet of the system that you describe (rather than your description of it).

You're certainly correct that private institutions can operate more efficiently (and beneficially) than most 'state' organs, the difficulty comes when you look at how accessible those 'private' institutions are to your average Jo Schmoe. State institutions have been pushed into a competitive framework that their infrastructures simply aren't designed to cope with. Arguably they should cope with these changes but they don't. They compete on a playing field that is completely alien to them - this will change for the better over time but right now they're effectively kaiboshed.

Wealth IS equalling the best education at the moment; I'm not talking about the top 5% (their opportunities are another case altogether), but my own opinion is that many middle-class families who don't qualify for grant aid are frightened of the ultimate cost of a University education for their children. We can blame the popular press for much of this of course but the Universities aren't doing their part in reaching out to students as they might.

There's no doubt that the (yes, Labour-led) reform missed many opportunities to remove the self-satisfied bloatdom in the upper echelons, but there is equally little doubt that the Coalition have also missed opportunities to ratify and improve what could have been a solid foundation for modernisation and improvement of the public Universities. I argue that much of this government's education policy is elitist and I don't see their Higher-Ed philosophy as being any different.

I know I'm kind of moving off-topic here, so I'll stop wink.gif

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#23

Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:40 AM

I wish my university cost 9,000 a year. Is it truly that much of a killer for you guys to pay that much? For god's sake... look at what we pay across the ocean.

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#24

Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:03 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Sunday, Nov 18 2012, 01:40)
I wish my university cost 9,000 a year. Is it truly that much of a killer for you guys to pay that much? For god's sake... look at what we pay across the ocean.

I'll be honest, that argument's always struck me as a bit annoying. Just because one country has it worse does not deprive you of a right to be angry about a problem in your own country.

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#25

Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:24 AM

QUOTE (General Goose @ Saturday, Nov 17 2012, 22:03)
QUOTE (Irviding @ Sunday, Nov 18 2012, 01:40)
I wish my university cost 9,000 a year. Is it truly that much of a killer for you guys to pay that much? For god's sake... look at what we pay across the ocean.

I'll be honest, that argument's always struck me as a bit annoying. Just because one country has it worse does not deprive you of a right to be angry about a problem in your own country.

But the point I'm making is, how is it a problem for you guys? Look at how much we pay over here for education. 50 grand a year vs 5 grand a year. My argument is essentially, we have it a lot worse over here and find a way to deal with it somehow. So you guys ought to also and not complain about paying less than 10 grand USD a year for tuition when we pay 40-50 here. Figure it out.

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#26

Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:39 AM

Well they're talking about £9,000/year, which is more around the $15,000/year mark. I feel like you guys in the United States are definitely getting gouged and paying for the name of your school, which, to be honest, as an undergraduate, means DFA for the most part. There are exceptions to the preceding statement, but for the most part, you're paying for the name. When you're a graduate student, where you went becomes more important and a much larger factor.

For example, there's a grad student in our department who did his B.Sc. in physics at Stanford and when we were talking about EM, he had no idea what the hell he was talking about. I think he said he paid around $42,000/year (I'm not sure if that was just tuition or tuition plus boarding and other expenses), whereas I paid $25,000 for my entire degree in terms of tuition. He may have went to a school with a more world renowned name, but he sure as hell didn't know much, so it sounds like I got more return on investment for my education than he did. Granted, that's one example and doesn't paint a general case.

I know some people, in your view, shouldn't complain about tuition, but then you have to factor in other costs if you're away from home. That being rent, utilities, food, miscellaneous costs. Hell, an apartment near the university here is about $800/month (minimum), so for an eight month academic term, there's $6,400 right there. For some people, that's not easy money to come by.

I won't complain too much about tuition in Canada, though. It's heavily subsidized (last I read, up to 70%) by the government, so I had a good deal going on. The only people who tend to complain about tuition in Canada are the Québécois, but they have the idea everything should be free without thinking about the fact that it has to be paid for somehow; they just don't care about who pays for it, as long as it's not them.

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#27

Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:46 PM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Sunday, Nov 18 2012, 06:24)
QUOTE (General Goose @ Saturday, Nov 17 2012, 22:03)
QUOTE (Irviding @ Sunday, Nov 18 2012, 01:40)
I wish my university cost 9,000 a year. Is it truly that much of a killer for you guys to pay that much? For god's sake... look at what we pay across the ocean.

I'll be honest, that argument's always struck me as a bit annoying. Just because one country has it worse does not deprive you of a right to be angry about a problem in your own country.

But the point I'm making is, how is it a problem for you guys? Look at how much we pay over here for education. 50 grand a year vs 5 grand a year. My argument is essentially, we have it a lot worse over here and find a way to deal with it somehow. So you guys ought to also and not complain about paying less than 10 grand USD a year for tuition when we pay 40-50 here. Figure it out.

Well, that still doesn't respond to my point. You guys have it a lot worse, true, but that doesn't mean people over here have no right to complain or be angry about the tuition fees situation.

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#28

Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

But it does respond to your point. Even as Icarus said - the guy who went to Stanford gets the name benefit but doesn't know - he paid 42 grand. But to you Brits, Icarus paid 25k, still exponentially higher than the face value of your tuition over there.

The point, and ill say it again, is simply that your government and universities are catching up to Canada and the US. You're not going to get away with 4000 pounds a year for tuition anymore - it's sort of like oil prices. Sure, the US has massive oil reserves, but oil prices are set internationally. What happens in other countries affects yours, and that is happening to you in the UK. I stand by my point that you should all think yourselves lucky with the prices you pay for tuition. That number is room, board and meal in many US schools!

Icarus, as for the cost of living and such, can you expand on what you mean? It's not easy money to come by and I'm not saying it is. The point is, our British friends are paying what you or I would have to pay for room and board or an apartment even in tuition only... it's going to end- be realistic and happy with what you got. Listen to Clegg's apology speech on raising tuition.

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#29

Posted 19 November 2012 - 03:37 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Sunday, Nov 18 2012, 11:03)
Icarus, as for the cost of living and such, can you expand on what you mean? It's not easy money to come by and I'm not saying it is.

Sure.

By cost of living, I mean things like your rent, utilities (electricity, heat, water, internet), food, fun money (you know, you can't just study 24/7), and any miscellaneous expenses that might come up through the academic year. Of course, I forgot to mention, tuition doesn't cover books and I know some programs, books are expensive because of the amount you have to buy (engineering being a prime example). Hell, a first year physics textbook (a generic one), you're looking at a minimum of $150, unless you buy it used, which is something to consider if you're looking for cost cutting measures.

QUOTE (Irviding)
But to you Brits, Icarus paid 25k, still exponentially higher than the face value of your tuition over there.

I'm not quite sure it's exponentially higher. If you're using the value of someone paying £4,000/year in just tuition, then for a four year degree, that's £16,000, which comes out to just under $25,500 CAD, so on par with Canada and what I paid for my B.Sc. The difference might come from cost of living, but I'm not sure what that's like in the UK (if it's more or less than Canada).

However, I read that tuition costs in the UK was rising to something like £9,000/year, so that's £36,000 for a four year undergraduate degree, which comes out to just over $57,000 CAD, which is pretty damn pricy, considering that's just tuition, although I'm comparing that to Canadian prices (saying it's pricy), and the school I went to is probably one of the more expensive ones, but still reasonable. Compared to US tuition, however, the cost isn't nearly that bad.

I agree with the General, though. Even though the US pays more for tuition in general, it doesn't mean UK residents are not getting the shaft either. As far as I'm concerned, from the Canadian perspective, the US and the UK are both getting shafted in fees, but the US more so.

Coming from a Canadian, I find the cost of schools in the US to be prohibitively expensive. When I was in high school, I was looking at Harvard as a joke (because one of my teachers told me to) and no foolin', the tuition cost was going to be about $67,000 USD for an international student. Multiply that by four years, that's $268,000 USD. Account for cost of living and exchange rate, it would have easily been a $300,000+ CAD adventure.

Irviding
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#30

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

QUOTE

By cost of living, I mean things like your rent, utilities (electricity, heat, water, internet), food, fun money (you know, you can't just study 24/7), and any miscellaneous expenses that might come up through the academic year. Of course, I forgot to mention, tuition doesn't cover books and I know some programs, books are expensive because of the amount you have to buy (engineering being a prime example). Hell, a first year physics textbook (a generic one), you're looking at a minimum of $150, unless you buy it used, which is something to consider if you're looking for cost cutting measures.



I know all about book costs trust me haha, but with regard to what you're mentioning, the reason I asked you to expand on it is not for a definition of what cost of living is, but why it applies here. In the US, you pay a separate room and board fee which can be up to like 10 grand and that's on top of tuition. You don't have an electric bill at most undergraduate schools as in the US, up until senior year of college you live on campus usually.




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