More private school students enrol in overseas universities: Telegraph
Written in News & Updates on Saturday, 25 October 2014 20:43

Daily Telegraph: 25th October 2014

Increasing numbers of pupils from leading private schools are taking university courses
overseas because of concerns over rising tuition fees in the UK.

A survey of members of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which
represents 260 top fee-paying schools, found evidence of a significant shift towards
international universities.According to figures, nine-in-10 heads have seen an increase in
students wanting to study overseas over the last three years. Some 84 per cent are
actively encouraging pupils to include international universities in their options, it emerged.
It marks a major shift since the introduction of higher tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year
for the first time in 2012.

The study, which was commissioned by Maastricht University in the Netherlands, found
that a rise in domestic tuition fees was the biggest driver of overseas study, followed by
increased awareness of opportunities and an attempt to enhance students’ career prospects.
The United States is often seen as the most popular destination for students studying outside
the UK, with 9,500 crossing the Atlantic for higher education courses last year. But courses
in mainland Europe are now also increasingly popular, with more teenagers taking degrees
in countries such as the Netherlands, France, Germany and Sweden.Universities in Canada
and Australia are also growing in popularity, it emerged.

The study also revealed that heads believed more should be done to encourage overseas
study in the country generally, particularly in the state system. More than half claimed that
careers advisers failed to promote international universities enough and a similar number
believed students taking domestic degrees should be given more opportunity to spend part
of their course abroad.

Richard Harman, chairman of HMC and headmaster of Uppingham School, said: “For many
decades students studying languages at university have expected and looked forward to a
period of study abroad. In recent years the value of this experience had become recognised as
something from which all undergraduates can benefit.

Above: Maastricht

Bedales School, Hampshire, now sends almost one-in-10 pupils to universities abroad,
including those in Italy, Netherlands, Canada and the US.Keith Budge, the headmaster, said: “At
Bedales we encourage our students to consider all university options – in particular to look at
overseas universities especially in North America and Europe, and we certainly seeing more demand
from our students for this.“Also, for the majority going on to a UK university, we promote the
massive benefits of spending some time abroad; there is no doubt that these experiences improve
students’ employability.”

Prof Martin Paul, president of Maastricht University, where the number of UK undergraduates has
more than doubled in the past three years, said: “While the message is getting through to students
that studying abroad can significantly improve employability, there continues to be a need to
provide more opportunities and information. Maastricht University has been a trend-setter in enhancing
international career prospects by stimulating student mobility, and we welcome other European
universities to join this strategy.

A Note from EUNiCAS: in addition to students from fee-paying schools, EUNiCAS can confirm a
surge in applications to these universities from students who have studied at a range of state-sector
schools.