UK tuition alone cannot cover the cost of undergraduate studies at University College London, and UCL and other universities are forced to rely on international students’ tuition, the professor said.
UCL Dean Michael Spence said that there are no undergraduate programs at his college that can be financed with in-country tuition of $9,250 per year.
UCL recently became the UK’s largest mainstream university with 42,000 students and is celebrating its ninth overall rise in the 2022 Guardian University Guide released Saturday.
Spence, who joined UCL in a previous position as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, said the UK government should not follow Australia and use international student tuition to fund universities.
It’s really important that the UK doesn’t follow the Australian route that way, Spence said. Australia has clever people who dig and grow things out of the ground. There are only smart people in England and nothing else. Therefore, it is really important to protect and nurture innovation and research.
The government is expected to make changes to the UK’s higher education fund as part of a comprehensive spending review to be announced next month. Many in the field are preparing for a possible tuition cut for undergraduates, along with other restrictions aimed at reducing the number of dropouts taking this course, which Education Secretary Gavin Williamson considers a low-value course.
Spence said: We will be exposed to an absolute drop in undergraduate fees. There are no courses at UCL for which undergraduate fees cover the cost of course delivery. We performed the calculations by an independent company.
It was already supporting the education of UK undergraduates at the expense of international and postgraduate students.
Despite the success of distance learning during the pandemic, Spence said UCL will need in-person training to return in the fall. He said: We are deeply committed to the notion that college is an embodied community, a place where students learn from each other and from those who teach. It has to happen face to face.
Spences’ arrival as Chancellor coincided with UCL’s further expansion after enrolling a record number of undergraduates last year, overtaking the University of Manchester to become the largest campus and the construction of a new site called UCL East near the 2012 Olympic Stadium in Stratford. .
UCL has also skyrocketed in the international league tables in recent years, including for the quality of its studies, and this year it made it into the top 10 in the Guardians’ Guide for Undergraduates.
The statistician who collected the data, Matt Hiely-Rayner, said that UCL’s performance reflects its strength. Twenty-two of UCL’s topics made it into the top 10 nationally. This year has seen particularly advances in economics, computer science, mathematics, English and politics.
Overall, Oxford remains number one nationally, with Cambridge moving to second and dropping to third, beating St Andrews University.
The impact of the pandemic can be seen in the decline in student satisfaction at many universities. Respondents to the 2021 National Student Survey were deeply dissatisfied with their undergraduate experience, the worst outcome since the survey began in 2005.
Hiely-Rayner said: The overall sector 2021 results were terrible. Everything fell on average, but for some institutions it was more than 20 percentage points. There was relatively little good news. It is a reflection on how universities have dealt with the epidemic.
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