The Price On Education

The Price On Education, it’s been a global topic for some time now. The amount of debt that students are accumulating in the prospect of a higher education is astronomical. Countries such as the United States, the UK, and Japan are at the top of the new report, by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, that reflects the highest tuition fees in the world. What’s more is that the UK has been deemed to have the highest tuition fees on average in a study that spanned 50 countries.

The average tuition for public universities in Japan average $5,400, whereas universities in England are averaging $9,000 (£6,000). While this isn’t the first time the UK has been on the list, it is the first time they’ve taken the number one spot. England is truly an anomaly in Europe though, there are a number of countries who offer higher education for significantly less cost and in some cases free of charge. Tuition is essentially free for public universities in Iceland, Norway and Sweden, aside for living expenses. So why is there such a broad spectrum on tuition fees?

Well, for the UK, The Telegraph suggests the sudden increase in tuition for the UK came about after an announcement from the universities minister, Jo Johnson. Johnson’s plan suggested universities charge higher fees in the event they meet a certain teaching standard. While this has a direct effect on the accountability from universities and quality of teaching, it has also caused a greater effect on student debt.

In accordance with the increase in tuition fees, England has since improved their loan-repayment conditions in order to compensate for the change. In some cases, student loans are on income-driven repayment plans, much like taxes. Payments are automatically withdrawn once their annual salary is at 21,000 pounds or greater. This system has proved to be rather beneficial and have since been adopted by U.S. lawmakers.

The cost of universities doesn’t seem to be slowing down much, specifically in those countries at the top of the OECD’s list. A new study was just released this week that depicts the conditions students are living in to simply make ends meet while attending university. I’d be interested to see the OECD report for the next several years, in order to compare the different tactics being practiced globally. So, while things might not slow down for a while, you might want to consider studying elsewhere, like Germany, who “would be happy if you decided to make use of its higher education system.”

More on, The Price on Education, in later blogs!