International students: find out the costs of UK study: tuition fees, accommodation prices and other living costs.
Before moving to the UK and starting your studies, you need to make sure you are secure in terms of funds. There will be many outgoings that you will need to consider: university fees, living expenses and also money for your social time. We have given you some guidelines below, so you can begin to look into the kind of money you need to have saved up in order to afford studying in the UK.
One of the most confusing factors of looking into university costs is finding out about tuition fees. These differ depending on where you are from, the university in question and the type of course you are applying for.
Although the rates do vary, there are guidelines you can follow to find out how much you should expect to pay. For instance all EU students attending UK universities pay the same fees as UK students. For 2011/12 entry, universities and colleges in England will charge new students up to £9,000 a year for their courses, although this varies depending on the college or university. However the Guardian has reported that all 123 universities and university colleges in England are planning to charge £6,000 or more.
For "overseas" students (those not from EU countries: see UK Council for International Student Affairs) tuition fees also vary. Overseas students have to pay for the full cost of their course, and these fees can range from £4,000 to £18,000 per year.
Although things like tuition fees are very important, there are other costs you should consider at this point, and these are living costs. These can differ depending on the region you plan to live in. A recent study by the NUS (National Union of Students) showed that living in London costs on average an extra £1,000 a year compared to elsewhere in the UK, where average rent prices total roughly £4,000 per year.
You'll then need to factor in bills and other costs such as books, equipment, travel, clothing and of course leisure. The NUS study put average annual costs for these at approximately £6,500.
You must also be aware that international students cannot apply for welfare allowances of any sort during their stay, and must ensure that they can cover their day-to-day expenses. If you are staying in the UK for over six months however, you do get free access to the NHS (National Health Service), which offers free health and dental care.
Don't panic if you think you could never afford to study in the UK, there is a wide support network of scholarships, bursaries, loans and grants that can offer support to help you get the funds you need. For example, there are several government-funded awards for international students including;
In addition to government-funded awards, some private companies offer support funds for students and many universities also offer their own scholarships that international students can be eligible for.
Another thing to consider is that these days, students often consider part-time work to help them keep on top of money. International students are allowed to work part time in the UK for up to 20 hours per week, and this can help give you money to spend in your free time - and also give you less time to spend it in.