LSE heads for fee crisis

February 14, 1997

What does tertiary education do for London? Not a lot, says one report. In another of our series of regional focuses, THES reporters look for a sense of community within the M25 area.

THE London School of Economics has looked abroad to fund expansion. The numbers of full-time European Union and overseas students rose by 36 per cent in the five years up to 1995/96. Excluding European Union students from the calculation, LSE projections show that by 1998/99 there will be some 2,715 overseas students studying full time. This is an increase of nearly 70 per cent on the numbers for 1990/91.

LSE's pro-director Leslie Hannah is concerned. He admits much of the school's expansion has been driven by declining Government funding. Each overseas undergraduate pays some Pounds 8,000 in fees compared with the Pounds 3,000 received for each home student from the funding councils and the local authority fee.

Professor Hannah said: "We are competing for international students with the likes of Harvard and we are cheap compared with them. However, that is not taking into account the cost of living in London. I think it would be unreasonable to charge overseas student any more and if we simply use their fees to subsidise home students that is a recipe for disaster."

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