Asking for it

October 17, 2013

It is hardly surprising that the pace of growth in anglophone taught master’s courses offered in continental Europe is picking up (“A warm Euro welcome - and in English, too”, News, 10 October).

For Dutch, German and Swedish universities in particular, overseas students represent more than just extra income: indeed, they are part of an internationalisation strategy - and if that means teaching more programmes in English, so be it. Even Sweden, which suffered a self-inflicted setback two years ago when it imposed “full-cost” tuition fees for non-European Union students, is on the road to recovery. Indians now make up the largest proportion of admitted overseas students at Swedish institutions, followed by those from Greece and the UK - and they all want to be taught in English.

A consequence of offering more master’s programmes in English is that studying in, say, Sweden or Germany is also a realistic option for British students lacking foreign languages. Added attractions include widened horizons and no tuition fees.

Meanwhile, demand for master’s degrees from domestic students in the UK is falling; and the Home Office seems to be doing its level best to put off Indian and other international students (“£20 short? You can’t come in”, News; “We push as Europe pulls”, Leader, 10 October).

It is time that the Home Office woke up to the damage such action is causing to one of the UK’s best “export” industries. Students have the world to choose from when looking for master’s degrees taught in English from top 400-ranked world universities - and they don’t have to buy British.

Nic Mitchell
De la Cour Communications
North Yorkshire

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