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International Perspectives

Comparing higher education costs across the Commonwealth

The third comparative survey of tuition fees conducted by the policy research unit at the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) reveals that UK universities charge international students the highest fees in the Commonwealth

The survey of 180 institutions across the Commonwealth indicates that UK university charges are almost 50 per cent more than those at rival institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

Canada emerges as the country to head to for the cheapest postgraduate science degrees, but the cost of a Canadian postgraduate commerce course is second only to the cost of a similar course in the UK.

In terms of actual costs, UK universities charge international students from outside the European Union an average fee ranging from £6,523 a year for an undergraduate arts course to £7,639 for an undergraduate science course. This compares with fees for comparable courses of £4,451-£5,215 in New Zealand, £4,131-£4,389 in Australia and £3,911-£4,081 in Canada.

Postgraduate fees in the UK range from £6,635 for arts to £7,805 for science courses. Similar courses in New Zealand cost £4,826-£6,186, in Australia £4,510-£6,017 and in Canada £3,402-£3,067.

The UK again tops the league for commerce-related courses, with average fees of £6,507 for undergraduate and £8,500 for postgraduate courses. Canada ranges from £4,462 to £7,438, Australia is third most expensive at £4,454 and £5,509 and New Zealand lags just behind at £4,614 and £5,123.

For the survey, ACU researchers selected the four countries from the wide spread of institutions from the Commonwealth's other member states because of their broadly comparable educational structures and because they attract the highest numbers of international students.

They looked at four other disciplines: engineering, education, computer science and communication.

You can obtain the full survey results from the website at:




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