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More students looking overseas

Growing numbers of teenagers will consider studying overseas in the future to find wide-ranging courses and good value for money, it has been suggested.

The United States and European nations such as the Netherlands are already becoming increasingly popular among students who are "savvier" in their university choices, according to private school leaders.

With fees for English universities set to rise to £9,000, value for money is high on the agenda, as is the chance to study a broader course, such as liberal arts.

While the numbers are still small, private school leaders said they expect to see an increase in those opting for foreign universities.

Peter McDonald, housemaster and adviser on overseas higher education at Magdalen College, a private boys' school which also caters to girls in the sixth form, said: "Things are beginning to change, in that this year we are seeing, in particular, one applicant who is dead set on the United States.

"Out of a year group of 130, there's also growing interest in Irish universities, Trinity College Dublin and Irish medical schools."

Mr McDonald said: "Students are becoming far more savvy as regards all the options, and they're looking at value for money very differently. They are asking 'Are we going to get good teaching, good contact hours..?'."

King's College School in Wimbledon, a private boys school in south London with co-educational sixth form, has seen the numbers of students applying to the US double in the last three years.

In 2009, seven applied. This year that had risen to 12, and next year 20 are expected to submit applications.

Headmaster Andrew Halls said: "There's a growing curiosity in the US. To give our figures, at a lower-sixth talk about applying to US universities recently, 60 out of 180 went along. There's much more awareness of a world elsewhere."


From Belfast Telegraph