Interest in US study grows with tuition fees

August 18, 2006

Tuition fees are encouraging more UK students to study at top US universities such as Harvard, it was suggested this week.

Harvard University's UK undergraduate application numbers are increasing, from about 150 ten years ago to 250 today. Cornell University has seen the number of applicants from Britain grow from 97 in 2005 to 131 in 2006.

Janet Irons, UK admissions representative at Harvard University, said that the decision by UK universities to charge £1,000 a year from 1998 and up to £3,000 a year from this autumn had made students look at what was available in a global higher education market.

Ms Irons said: "My guess is that the many media articles over the past few years about the UK education system and top-up fees have alerted UK students to not automatically assume that the UK system is their best and only option. More choice is a good thing.

"We have been making extra efforts over the past decade to reach out to top candidates in the UK."

Wendy Scharer, senior associate director of undergraduate admissions at Cornell, said: "We have been doing a bit less traditional recruitment and more reaching out to prospective students electronically, including those outside the US."

A Universities UK spokesperson responded: "We often hear much speculation about UK students being attracted to various US higher education institutions, with a number of high-profile examples.

"But the fact remains that the figures are comparatively small and have remained steady over the past few years."

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