Research suggests that more British students are studying for degrees overseas than their peers from the UK’s big academic rivals, it has been claimed.
Some 22,000 UK students are now enrolled on programmes abroad, according to Vincenzo Raimo, director of Nottingham University’s international office.
This figure only counts those who are studying for an entire course in another country, not students who take part in exchanges or spend a term abroad, he said.
At the Westminster Education Forum on higher education in central London, Mr Raimo cited official research which suggests that 1.7% of the UK’s student population are taking courses overseas. In comparison, in China this figure is 1.4% and in India it is 1%.
These two countries are among the UK’s biggest academic competitors with large numbers of students coming to the UK to study each year.
The latest Ucas figures show that in 2010, 8,321 Chinese undergraduates were accepted at UK universities, along with 1,802 Indian students.
Mr Raimo said that with fees rising to a maximum of £9,000 at English universities for home and EU students next year, graduates will be left with debt in the region of £45,000.
“You can go to an existing British university overseas, take the same programme and save between £15,000 and £20,000,” he said.
At one leading Italian university, annual tuition fees stand at between 4,500 euros and 10,700 euros, while at Maastricht fees are 1,672 euros per year.
At Harvard University in the United States, tuition fees are 34,976 dollars (£21,676), Mr Raimo said, but any student whose parental income was less than £60,000 receives a full scholarship.
The Press Association