No money in the bank

17 Oct

A week ago, I wrote a cheque for £4736 (5410.72€). No I didn’t win the lottery. It’s the sum of my tuition fees, not to mention £250 (285.73€) deposit I paid over summer to secure a place on the course. In total, the cost of the International Journalism ma at UCF amounted to £4986 (5698.74 €).

Painful isn’t it? Now I fully understand the expression : “it costs an arm and a leg”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely excited about my degree, but as a French person, I’m not used to spending so much money on higher education.

In comparison, the tuition fees for university in my country are ridiculously cheap. I did a BA in journalism at the IUT of Lannion (in Britanny) which costs 181.57€ a year (£158.88). Actually, I never paid that sum since I had a grant which means my tuition fees were 4.57€ a year. I was also exonerated from the 203€ (£177.64) cost of the social security. In the end, I paid 13.71€ (£11.99) for a three-year degree.

From the French point of view, pursuing a degree in England may seem unreasonable. However, this year represents my last chance to study the course I want in this country before the massive rise for the tuition fees. In September 2012, UCF will charge £9000 a year to students entering university for the first time.

Most universities in England (and Wales) have set their fees to this maximum due to teaching grants being cut by 80%. The increase was voted in by the parliament in December 2010 after a review of higher education funding in the The Browne report. Measures will be implemented to help poorer students in universities where fees are above £6000. What about the ones from the middle class ?

According to an article from the BBC, students who undertake a three-year degree at £9000 a year, plus full maintenance loans face a £43, 000 debt. What a terrifying prospect. No wonder why there are more English students applying to overseas universities.

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