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How Do England’s University Fees Compare?

The information presented in this report paints a worrying picture. There is a clear link between earnings potential and having a degree, however, the debt burden students are carrying in order to access that advantage is nearing an average of £57,000 at the point of leaving University. Qualifi provides alternative Higher Education qualifications that are Advanced Learning Loan listed and available at less than the £9,250 per annum tuition fee price of most Universities. Qualifi Level 5 provides access to the final year Yop Up to Honours Degree and the Qualifi Level 7 to final year Masters, including MBA.  

Students in England leave university with higher debts than almost anywhere else in the developed world, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said this week.

Charging £9,250 a year for an undergraduate degree makes England a real outlier by international standards.

It’s even an outlier in the UK, where Scotland has no fees for Scottish students, and fees in Wales and Northern Ireland are much lower.

There are also lower costs in many European countries where many more students live at home.

Students will graduate with debts of more than £50,000

Fees are going up to £9,250 and interest rates on loans are rising to 6.1%, which will push up average student debt on graduation to more than £50,000, including maintenance loans.

The clock on interest charges starts ticking as soon as students begin their course – and it means that they will have run up £5,800 in interest charges before they have even left university.

A high-earning graduate could pay back £40,000 in interest charges, on top of repaying the amount they have borrowed.

These figures could go even higher. Interest rates are linked to inflation and if that begins to rise, then so will the amount charged for repayments.

The figures from the Student Loans Company show the debt level has almost doubled in four years and will continue to climb if fee levels and interest rates rise further.

But about three-quarters of students will not repay their debts in full before the 30-year limit when the loans are written off.

Students are less convinced they’re getting value for money.

A lack of teaching hours – and a lack of information about how tuition fees are spent – are among the factors that have seen a plunging level of students thinking they’re getting value for money.

Five years ago, 53% of students across the UK thought university was “good” or “very good” value – but this has now slumped to its lowest level of 35%.

Least convinced about the value, were business and social studies students.

Graduate earnings depend on degree subjects

The question of “value” from a degree isn’t just about a monetary return. There’s a much wider social and cultural dimension.

But even in narrow financial terms, the relationship between the cost of fees and earnings is not straightforward.

Have part-time students been the real losers from fees?

The political attention over tuition fees has focused on the impact on young people taking undergraduate, full-time degrees.

But the biggest change, often overlooked, has been the collapse in part-time students.

And the recession saw a big reduction in firms willing to pay for their staff to take qualifications.

There have been repeated warnings from industry about a skills gap, but there are few signs of any recovery in part-time student numbers.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are a student seeking access to our qualifications, a provider wishing to become an approved Qualifi centre or an employer wanting to discuss access to training for your staff. Qualifi prides itself on enabling flexible access to learning for students who may already be in employment as well as those wishing to earn while they learn. There is a credible alternative to 3 full-time years of education at a University.