Australia is the most expensive place in the world for student costs

by Ray Clancy on October 29, 2012

Total cost of studying in Australia is £19,968, HSBC report shows

Australia is the most expensive place to study for international students, followed by the United States, Canada and the UK, according to a report by HSBC which looks into further education costs around the world.

The cost of flights, exchange rates and the fact that students in Australia also have the most expensive living costs, means that it costs almost £2,000 more to study there.

In Australia the total cost is £19,986, compared with £4,210.30 in Germany. The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and France also have costs well under £10,000.

However, US costs rival those in Australia, with this year’s total at £19,610. Inflation in tuition fees is around 8% as a result of US cuts to state budgets creating restrictions on study fee subsidies. In addition university courses are typically four years in the US, meaning students undertake an extra year of expenditure, further increasing the cost of studying there.

The average cost of tuition, living and accommodation for English students in the UK is £15,586 for this academic year 2012/21013. The UK has drawn almost level with Canada in third place, as the introduction of the raised cap on tuition fees has seen its education costs rise 56%. Canada’s average combined cost this year including flights is £15,671, less than £100 higher than the UK total, despite two return flights a year to Canada from the UK costing around £1,200.

‘Our UK based International Banking Centre has been increasingly dealing with requests for assistance from parents whose children are heading overseas to study,’ said James Yerkess, HSBC head of FX.

‘While many people have focussed on English speaking destinations, our research shows that these are among the most expensive places for English students to study. With studying costs in Europe falling, the continent should be given serious consideration. Many universities offer courses taught in English, and the benefits of speaking another language may add to students’ employability after graduation,’ he explained.

‘Given students’ higher than average total of regular payments, for monthly accommodation charges, books, and travel expenses, they are well placed to take full advantage of favourable exchange rates and the much lower cost of studying abroad,’ he added.

For English students seeking more affordable education, Europe is a favourable option, with costs falling by 3.6% over the past year due to positive exchange rates and low inflation for both Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries. English students studying in the Eurozone stand to benefit significantly from this when paying for accommodation, transport and any education fees.

At current prices funding an entire degree in Germany costs less than a single year in a British university for English students. Germany also has the lowest living costs and has seen the biggest fall in overall cost this year of 5.47% thanks to favourable exchange rates and low inflation.

Other European countries have experienced similar decreases, due to a fall of more than 7% in the value of the Euro, Danish Krone and Finnish Markka against the pound. The cost of studying in Denmark fell by 5.04% for English students in the past year. Similarly there was a 4.99% reduction in France.

According to separate research from HSBC, a third of British parents are planning to foot the majority of their child’s university bill and 10% are having to take on a second job to be able to afford British university fees.

More than half said they plan to save more to meet these costs, and for UK university costs, these parents would have to save more than £3,000 per year from when their child was born. However, for German education costs, this figure falls to just over £700 per year.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anon December 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm

It's disappointing that international students wanting to study in Australia struggle so much in order to come and stay here, especially as we have many international students we work with through excited to come here and can't wait to. We give the best advice possible before they arrive and make students aware of the cheapest deals and ways to save money, which is incredibly important. If only more in Australia would consider such options for a better educational experience.


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