British students will be expected to pay more than £157,000 in tuition fees to complete what is believed to be the most expensive undergraduate degree course in the country. This is from the Telegraph…
The University of Buckingham announced that it would charge £35,000-a-year for new degrees being launched at Britain’s first private medical school.
A number of other top universities already levy similar fees to foreign students but it understood to be the first time UK undergraduates face charges this high.
Last night, the National Union of Students insisted the course would “rank among the most expensive on earth”, closing it to all but the wealthiest students.
But Buckingham said fees were comparable with those charged by other top medical schools, insisting that all money would be reinvested in the NHS.
The university – established in the 1970s as a non-profit making body – already offers a range of traditional disciplines but this is the first time it has delivered full undergraduate medicine degrees.
Under plans, courses will be launched in January 2015 and last four-and-a-half years as part of a partnership with Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust.
Prof Terence Kealey, the vice-chancellor, said: “We have long held an ambition to pioneer a medical school with a patient orientation. We intend to provide high-quality students with a first-rate, caring, medical education.”
Across England, university tuition fees are normally capped for home or EU students at £9,000-a-year for all courses.
Institutions can charge far higher fees to students from outside the EU because they carry no Government funding.
A recent report showed that King’s College London already charges £35,000 for international students to take its medicine degrees, while costs are as high as £33,750 at University College London.
But Buckingham will charge the same amount to both British and foreign students because it is run completely free of state control and does not qualify for the same Government grants.
Over the full length of the new medicine course, fees will reach £157,500, before living costs.
A spokeswoman insisted the course would be six months shorter than typical five-year medicine degrees, adding: “The admission criteria will be comparable to the UK’s other medical schools and the fees of £35,000 per annum are within the range of fees being charged by other UK medical schools for overseas students.”
The move follows controversy over the launch of a new private university in central London – the New College of the Humanities – founded by the philosopher A C Grayling.
It charges £17,640 a year in full fees for courses.
So is this just for those who are desperate and cannot get a place anywhere else, or those who are very wealthy and can avoid the competition? Is it a taste of things to come?