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Cost conundrum: a look at the cheapest vs. most expensive UK universities

For many students, cost is a major contributing factor that influences their decision on where and what course they want to study.

According to a study published by insurance provider Aviva earlier this month, over a third of the UK’s graduate millennials (aged 18 to 35) are struggling to make ends meet due to debts from student loans.

“Aviva’s findings suggest that millennials have just £156 to spare at the end of each month after essential living costs and face repaying hefty student loans,” it revealed, with most respondents estimating that it would take them 11 to 12 years to finish paying off their student loans.

However, many universities disagreed with the study’s findings, claiming that they were based on narrow study data.

Regardless, it can’t be denied that higher education isn’t cheap, especially with the increased interest rate for student loans set to be implemented this year, so here’s some help to point you in the right direction.

Times Higher Education (THE) recently published a list of UK universities with the cheapest average tuition fees for international undergraduate and postgraduate students starting their studies in 2016–17, allowing for differences across subjects and whether they were classroom, laboratory, or clinically–based.  

The university with the cheapest fees in the undergraduate category was Bucks New University, which charges students around £9,500 annually.

The differences in tuition fees between universities were narrower for undergraduate courses compared to postgraduate degrees: for example, the Royal Veterinary College offers taught degrees for just under £9,000, and at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, a taught degree will set an international student back anywhere between £5,724 and £19,890.

UK universities with cheapest average tuition fees (undergraduate)

UK universities with cheapest average tuition fees (postgraduate)

On the opposite end of the spectrum, comparison site Gocompare.com compiled an interactive rankings table to help students research the total cost of studying a specific course at a particular university, which included not only tuition fees, but also the cost of accommodation, travel, socialising, and how much students can expect to spend on books and food each academic year.

Students can even use the table to compare similar courses between two universities.

According to the table, the University of Westminster emerged as the most expensive, with undergraduates racking up total costs of almost £25,000 each year.

The UK’s most expensive universities, per year:

It should come as no surprise that most of the institutions on the list are concentrated in London, a city known for having a high cost of living. 

Image via Flickr 

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