University reliant on international students’ fees for 28% of its income

By Cristina Coellen

Durham is one of the Russell Group universities that relies most heavily on international students’ tuition fees.

Just two Russell Group Universities place higher: London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Warwick, which respectively derive 37.81% and 29.85% of their income from international students’ fees, according to online news site The Tab.

Among non-Russell Group universities, dependence on international tuition fees is even more marked.

The University of the Arts London derives 46 % of its income from international student fees, followed closely in the by SOAS (42%) and Heriot-Watt University (41.87%).

Meanwhile, the universities that depend the least on international student fees are the University of Cambridge (8.3 %) and the University of Oxford (7.33 %).

The Covid-19 pandemic could have a “significant detrimental impact on the finances of the HE sector.”

Over 30% of Durham’s students are of “non-UK origin” according to the University, many of whom must pay substantially higher tuition fees than UK nationals.

International students’ tuition prices are not standardised across the UK and vary greatly depending on degree choice.

At Durham University, tuition for an undergraduate Law degree costs international students £23,000 per year.

Meanwhile, a BSc in Natural Sciences is priced at £28,500 per year.

Following the UK’s departure from the EU in January 2021, EU students starting new degrees in the UK have been required to pay full international tuition fees, rather than £9,250 as was previously the case.

Researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned in 2020 that a drop in international student admissions due to to the Covid-19 pandemic could have a “significant detrimental impact on the finances of the HE sector.”

Fee income from international students in the academic year prior to the pandemic reached almost £7 billion, roughly 17% of the Higher Education sector’s total income.

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat recently spoke to The Sunday Times about UK universities’ dependence on international tuition fees: “Educating the best and brightest from across the world in Britain can only be a good thing. But I’m cautious when that relationship tips into overreliance.”

Image: Emphyrio via Pixabay

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