Thursday, November 11, 2010

The cost of University: a comparative look

Sending a kid to university abroad has never been cheaper.

With tuition fees in the UK set to reach £9000 a year, the cost of Higher Education (already high by EU standards) is going to be the most prohibitive in Western Europe. Let's take a look.

Although in France admission to universities is extremely selective, most universities are almost free (€174 a year), the exception being some private Business Schools or the ultra-prestigious Grandes Ecoles which can exceed 12,900 a year. However, 26% of all HE students (generally from low income families) receive generous bursaries (see this and this).

Students in Germany have to fork out €100-200 per semester. There are penalties (as in tuition fees as such) for students who don't complete their courses on time (see this)

In the Netherlands, undergraduates under the age of 30 are required to pay €1620 a year.

In Sweden, all universities are completely free for all EU students. There is only a registration fee of around €30 Euros per semester (see here).

The same system is in place in Norway, although the registration fee is slightly higher (€50 per semester).

In Denmark, university courses are completely free for all EU students, while in Spain the system at state universities is more complex.

Aside from an annual registration fee of up to €20 a year and a number of ancillary costs (i.e. various paperwork and certificates that will not exceed a total of €200 anyway), students are charged "per credit", that is to say, more or less, for every module they study. A single credit will not exceed €16. However, students will be charged an extra 25% if they're re-sitting and an extra 70% on their third attempt. On average the total annual cost of university fees will range between €800 and €1,000.


Related articles: Student protests: are you surprised?; and Top-up fees. Forking out £3,000

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