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Overseas Students

Volume 977: debated on Thursday 31 January 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if the British Government are going to charge average costs or marginal costs fees to overseas students; what other countries, in which British students study, charge average costs; and which charge marginal costs.

The cost of tuition for overseas students will not be marginal in the case of courses where they preponderate and the average marginal cost for overseas students is likely to be close to the average unit cost for all students. The fee levels recommended by the local authority associations and the University Grants Committee, announced last November, take account of the Government's policy to remove progressively the subsidy on overseas students. No information is available on the detailed basis adopted by other countries in setting tuition fees; this could not be obtained except at disproportionate cost.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate he has made of how the costs per year of a British student studying in overseas countries compare with costs of overseas students from those countries studying in Great Britain; and if he will give the figures.

No precise comparisons can be drawn, but apart from some private universities in the USA and to some extent in Belgian universities, the annual cost in the United Kingdom in 1980–81 to students paying full cost fees will generally be higher than elsewhere. However, as first degree courses are often longer abroad the cost of the general run of complete degree courses in this country will be broadly comparable with costs in universities in Belgium, the Netherlands and West Germany, and the private ones in USA.