BY STEVE CHUBB
The US and UK are home to some of the most well-known universities in the world. Both these regions also boast dominant positions in terms of international rankings for universities providing higher education. So why is higher education so much more in the UK and the US compared to the rest of the world?
As per the report published by Times Higher Education, the top 10 world universities are either from the US or UK. Both these countries not only share a rich tradition of excellent higher education but also offer quality research facilities and thrive on the values which promote academic freedom and intellectualism.
However, while both the countries undoubtedly provide a world-class learning environment, these amenities come at a higher cost. But what makes higher education so expensive in these countries? In this article, we will explore the different factors which makes the cost of education so high in the US and UK as compared to other countries in the world.
- Tuition Fees
The tuition fees for most of the universities across the world have steadily risen in the past few decades. In addition to the tuition fees, there are several other factors that have made college fees monumental. According to The Independent, the average annual cost of the university in the UK £9,188, whereas that of the universities in the US in £7,518.
The tuition fees in the US and the UK can also vary dramatically based on the institution and the courses offered. The UK universities adhere to the maximum tuition fee limit set by the government for the domestic and international students.
However, in the US, the tuition prices are tiered and there is no tuition cap. The universities in the US are divided based on public, out-of-state and private institutions, where the fee at public universities is the least as compared to the latter two. Also, studying at a private institution can become quite expensive if there is no aid through scholarship.
Despite the high sticker prices at the US and UK universities, most of the students can escape from paying these high prices altogether. Depending on the student’s ability to pay the price, a majority of the institutions offer financial aids and loans to international applicants which help reduce the stress of paying fees till some extent.
- Rankings and Accreditations
The top rankings and accreditations of the universities in the US and UK are often considered as the key factors for imposing exorbitant costs to the higher education. In order to maintain their top positions, these colleges usually charge additional fees to enhance their stature. Additionally, to be able to compete with each other, most of these top universities find it necessary to spend money on services and high-tech facilities.
Amongst the diverse range of colleges in the US, most of the top-notch private colleges provide students access to the latest educational resources, equipment and technology. Similarly, the UK holds a historic reputation for providing excellent academic opportunities. These high-ranking historic universities in the UK offer modern teaching based on traditional values which attracts a significant number of students from all over the world.
- Staff salaries
The higher fees of the universities in the UK and US is not only a result of modern amenities but also comprises the administration costs incurred by the universities. These administration costs include salaries of teachers, professors, teaching assistants, higher management and the staff required for the day-to-day operations.
As highly qualified and experienced teaching staff is the backbone of most of the top universities in both these countries, colleges seek to recruit the best candidates and are willing to pay competitive salaries to retain their staff.
Apart from teachers, universities also have to recruit some specialist staff such as associate deans and principals from other regions which demand greater salaries. Universities obtain these salaries through college fees and parents as well as students willingly paying these high fees to get a good quality education.
In addition to highly qualified faculty and support staff, the universities in the US and UK also boast huge libraries which consist of numerous books and journals on various subjects, research topics and specialisations. College libraries have to pay thousands of dollars for the annual subscriptions of a majority of academic journals and to add latest editions of books every year.
Similarly, these universities also offer other amenities which include healthy cafeterias, dormitories, gymnasiums, playgrounds and sports stadiums. All these facilities come at a cost and are obtained in the form of recreational fees from the students, thus increasing their overall university fees.
Therefore, the high cost of the UK and US universities is contributed by many factors, the biggest being the high quality of education they provide through their staff, equipment and facilities. Ultimately, this shows that attending one of these universities will prove to be an excellent investment for your future and current education.
Steve chubb is the owner behind the website Best Essay Writing Company. He is a retired Financial adviser who now helps students find the right support and tutoring services for them. He is passionate about education and learning.