There’s been a lot of talk recently about the dilemma faced by those considering university: go, and face the £9000 in tuition fees and uncertain graduate job prospects, or don’t go, save the money but face even more uncertain job prospects in a competitive market.
But apparently those aren’t the only two options. It seems more and more students have, in fact, been going for choice number three: go to university in mainland Europe or Ireland and dodge the hefty mountain of debt in the process.
According to a recent Guardian article, the likes of Dublin’s Trinity College and University College Dublin have both seen a boost this year in applications from British students. While the former rose by 20% to almost 2,000 applications, the latter jumped by a whopping 37%, going from 800 to roughly 1,100 applications.
Both of these universities charge €2,250 (£1,760) a year for EU students, and they’re ranked among the top universities in Europe. Sound tempting?
Well if saving money is the thing on your mind, studying in Denmark might be an even more temping prospect. Their tuition fees for EU students are a big fat zero.
The Netherlands is another cheap option. The fees there are around €1,700 (£1,330) a year, and there’s the added bonus of possible Dutch state grants, worth around €500 (£390) a month.
Mark Huntington, who runs higher education advisory website astarfuture.co.uk, told the Guardian that while there aren’t exactly a flood of students fleeing the new tuition fees in Britain, there is much more interest being shown in study abroad.
"The overall cost of a three-year course in Holland, taking in tuition fees, accommodation and living costs, will be around £24,000 compared with the £50,000 or so it now costs in the UK," he says.
However, Mark goes on to say that there are lots of good reasons to study abroad, and that you shouldn’t necessarily go just to save money.
He says, "It is also worth bearing in mind that even though a degree abroad may be significantly cheaper than an equivalent qualification in the UK, you will possibly have to pay out more up front than if you were to study at home."
With that in mind, studying abroad still sounds like an interesting prospect. It’s possible that more people may catch on to this money-saving option over the coming years, and we might see a growing trend in those heading across the channel to pick up their degree.