Studying in EU fees much cheaper or even free

(23 Posts)
smilingmind Mon 28-Nov-16 00:56:26

My son is hoping to do an MA soon after working several years to pay off his BA.
I was looking yesterday with him at unis in the eu which teach courses through the medium of English.
Some charge no fees, others are very low. The Netherlands was up to €2,000 a year for his course.
Often the cost of living is cheaper in other countries.
Flights are usually cheaper than train fares to go 100 miles here. Where I live it costs £50 to go to London.
He didn't know about this, I didn't know until recently, and I wondered how many people here are aware of it.
Like him others will have to get in quickly before Brexit although I did hear recently of someone from New Zealand who had to pay no fees in Germany.

Totallypearshaped Mon 28-Nov-16 02:52:28

No fees in Scotland either, and a better bet for free courses not being available to non EU students after brexit. Though whether Scotland will leave the eu isn't certain, is it?

If you look at the costs for non European Union students, you'll see it's many tens of thousands, so for the second and subsequent years it won't be financially advantageous at all if some do manage to slip in for a year, or a term, before article 50 is enacted.

The courses run in Germany are usually all in German, with no English spoken at all, so that will be limiting to monoglot British students. Exams are in German and there's no quarter given at all for illiteracy. Students must be fluent.
Non EU student fees will apply once Britain leaves the EU.

It's a pity it will be prohibitively expensive as British people would benefit from exposure to European countries as students, though some of the courses run in Europe countries won't be relevant in post brexit UK: Human rights law including freedom of movement, European labour law and European equality law for just three examples.

user7214743615 Mon 28-Nov-16 03:27:22

Non EU student fees will apply once Britain leaves the EU.

This isn't clear. Reciprocal arrangements could be made between Britain and the EU. Non-EU countries (within EEA) pay EU fees. On the other hand, I see no reason why the EU should do British students any favours by agreeing to special rates.

OP, this topic has been discussed frequently on this board. As an academic, I would say "caveat emptor" i.e. beware of what you are actually getting. Fees are lower in the EU because universities receive public funding, but at the same time the quality and value of degrees varies considerably (as indeed it does in the UK, but quality is more tightly regulated here).

titchy Mon 28-Nov-16 08:04:17

The quality of many institutions in Europe is very low, and confusing to employers, so you could end up wasting your money.

Postgraduate loans are available for masters level study in the U.K. and our qualifications are recognised, quality assured and a much better investment as a rule.

jeanne16 Mon 28-Nov-16 08:23:20

The comment 'no fees in Scotland' strikes a sore note as English students are the only EU students to pay full fees in Scottish universities!

AddictedtoLove Tue 29-Nov-16 09:13:45

OP are you asking about Bachelor of Masters degrees in Europe? There is far more variation in European Masters degrees. And BAs are often 4 years minimum in the EU.

As others have said, caveat emptor - and you get what you pay for. Many continental European universities are crowded, impersonal, and lacking in the kinds of things that a young British EU person might expect as part of the university "experience."

Most continental European undergrads live at home or nearby. There's no set funding (and I know this from family experience) for university students to live unless you can navigate most of the other EU countries' funding regimes. But in France, Italy, and Germany, I know of undergrads who find that lectures are so overcrowded they can't get a seat, seminars are 50 students, and there is no 1 to 1 tutoring for dissertations or pastoral care.

If you think of education as a life investment (like a house) rather than a cost, then you might have a very different approach.

user7214743615 Tue 29-Nov-16 10:01:23

The quality of many institutions in Europe is very low, and confusing to employers.

Of course some institutions in Europe are very good and the Masters they offer are indeed world class and good value for money. If OP's son talks to his undergraduate tutors, they may be able to advise him on this - he would in any case need them to write academic references for him.

olympicfan Fri 02-Dec-16 17:15:42

The University of Amsterdam, Utrecht and Leiden University are all excellent and teach Masters courses in English.

The University of Amsterdam is ranked 62nd in the world and 15th best in Europe. So ranked higher than Bristol, Warwick and Durham.

OohhThatsMe Fri 02-Dec-16 17:18:30

Be careful though - I looked up a university in Sweden and students had to prove they had enough money to last them the duration of the course before they started there.

Evergreen17 Fri 02-Dec-16 17:20:33

Titcht say WHAT?? The quality of many institutions in Europe is very low, and confusing to employers, so you could end up wasting your money.
What false statement!!! I have degrees and postgraduates from Europe and the UK and your comment is full of ignorance and offensive.
I currently work in one of the UK leading scientific institutions thanks to my European degree and I have worked in others across the globe.
What a comment.

A Brexiter perhaps? hmm

Lokumotion Fri 02-Dec-16 17:35:35

Also, at least Munich Uni runs excellent Engineering degrees in English. Free to EU citizens.

It's worth considering that secondary education in general is also better in Germany and Netherlands to the extent that private schools are largely non existent compared to the UK.

That's what happens when a government prioritized it's young people and education, as opposed to the sad situation in the UK.

In addition, but strongly connected to their focus on education, the Netherlands still offers preferential tax breaks to highly qualified immigrants for the first 10 years of their residency (30% ruling) in recognition of the economic benefits they are known to bring....it's a more enlightened and fact- based perspective entirely. I loved living and working there as an immigrant myself.

Kr1stina Fri 02-Dec-16 17:38:28

The comment 'no fees in Scotland' strikes a sore note as English students are the only EU students to pay full fees in Scottish universities!

There are university fees in Scotland , they are just lower than in England and they are paid in full for Scottish student by SAAS.

The UK government decided to raise fees in England to up to £9k pa ( education is a devolved matter ) .

The UK government decided to charge these fees to rUK and EU students too. It's hardly suprising that other countries have decided to charge English students fees.

Other EU countries have a reciprocal agreement on fees, that's why they are not charged in Scotland . If England signs such an agreement, they won't be charged either.

It's about reciprocity .

Lunde Fri 02-Dec-16 17:43:10

There are no tuition fees in Sweden for EU students. The choice of BA courses taught in English is a bit limited however there is a huge choice of Masters programmes taught in English.

There are also many courses taught in English available for exchange students.

olympicfan Fri 02-Dec-16 17:47:07

I think there is a lot to be said for getting a degree from a top European university (say Amsterdam) and paying less than 6000 Euros rather than £27,750 for undergraduate study.

However, I am sure it is not for every 18 year old. What an amazing adventure and opportunity for those who are up for it.

The contact time seems so much better in Europe too. Many course in the UK (Humanities and Social Sciences) only offer 6 hours of lectures a week for £9250. In the Netherlands similar courses have 20 hours of lectures and seminars a week.

titchy Fri 02-Dec-16 17:50:50

evergreen I didn't say ALL at all. I said often. Look at the top 100 institutions in Europe - a third of them are British. So 65 universities in Europe are at least equal to our 'good quality' (MN terms...). But that's in the entirety of the continent. 65 across what, 30 countries. 2 good quality universities per country. And we have 35 in our little island - our universities are incredibly good on the world stage. Anyone would be a fool to look elsewhere solely to save money. That's all I'm saying. And yes unless you work in research or academia your employers may well be wary of your foreign degree. Rightly or wrongly.

And categorically not a Brexiter - just someone who spends their days looking at university league tables.

titchy Fri 02-Dec-16 17:52:17

Contact time - maybe more in terms of hours, but will often be in lecture theatres of 500 students. Seminars for 50 students anyone?

wizzywig Fri 02-Dec-16 17:54:32

wow, i wonder if they do distance learning degrees too?

AddictedtoLove Fri 02-Dec-16 18:00:48

I think titchy is on the money. And I have experience of universities in the humanities in France, Germany, the UK, and the US as an academic.

AddictedtoLove Fri 02-Dec-16 18:03:51

Just to echo the point titchy makes - if you're certain that the best degree programme for you is in another EU country then go for it! But if you decide to go to another EU country primarily to save money, you're making a deep error of judgement.

Lokumotion Fri 02-Dec-16 18:06:10

www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/best-universities-europe

Evergreen17 Fri 02-Dec-16 18:08:00

And we have 35 in our little island hmm well I think you are doing your research all in English for starters and based in the UK. You sound very dismissive of other countries to be honest.
Titchy no more than 100 students per class in my uni, a lot less for practical work.
I studied at the 3rd oldest University in Europe and my country hosts 3 of the 10 oldest.
Definitely Good quality of learning and very employable.
You did say that she will be most likely wasting her money.
I paid £1000 a year for my degree, 5 years. Hard to get a place sure as it is not about money but hard competition.
Just saying

titchy Fri 02-Dec-16 22:44:53

And I'm not saying all European universities are a waste of money confused I'm happy to point to the 65 or so that happily compete. I assume you went to one of those (but 100 in a class - wow!).

But buyers should do their research very carefully. And note that there is no access to maintenance loans other than in the U.K.

user7214743615 Fri 02-Dec-16 23:34:35

The contact time seems so much better in Europe too.

You do know that contact time is a very poor measure of the quality of education, right? University is about independent study. A humanities degree at Oxbridge may indeed involve only a few contact hours per week, but these contact hours are one-to-one with leading academics. Most of the time is spent in guided independent study, with the resulting essays read and analysed by these academics.

The value of these hours is much higher than spending 12-20 hours in classes, many of which are with early career researchers, but not writing as many essays and having them analysed in detail by experienced academics.

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