Students from across the UK and Ireland are increasingly becoming more and more interested in studying abroad, after one European university recently reported a significant growth in interest from the regions.
The University of Groningen in the Netherlands said it has had to put a waiting list into place after it booked more than 250 places for its UK/Irish Open Day event taking place later this month – a rise on just 80 last year.
The institution – which climbed to 74th place in the recent Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, up from 117th place last year – described how many British and Irish students have the perception that studying in the Netherlands means they have to study in a different language, or that it is located too far from the UK.
However, speaking about the university’s recruitment efforts, and how they focus on dispelling such myths, international marketing manager, Jemma Davies, added: “That’s why we started organising the UK/Irish open day to show it isn’t far away from home.
“A short flight and train journey means they can attend the event in one day, although many extend their trip and enjoy the highlights of the city over the weekend.”
Having started last year, Groningen explained how the event is scheduled when there are breaks in the academic year for prospective UK students, which allows them the time to travel to the city without missing any classes.
Taking place on 30 October, one mother, Mrs Saunes, explained the reasons why she would rather her son, Alexander, study in the Netherlands than at home. She said: “Groningen is a world-class university, offering exactly the degree that my son wants to study – econometrics and operations research.
“It is taught in English language, at a fraction of the cost of comparable universities in the UK, in a beautiful setting of a lively student town.”
The news has come at the same time travel money company, FAIRFX, carried out research into the new THE World University Rankingsto highlight the cheapest and most expensive countries in the world to be a student – with Continental Europe coming out way ahead of the UK.
Shortly after this, the upcoming vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, Louise Richardson, warned how Britain will “be impoverished” if international students find it too unwelcoming to travel to the UK to attend its universities because of strict visa rules.
In relation to this, THE data showed how the UK is being challenged head-to-head by a surge of Continental European universities by teaching in English, providing a degree of comparable quality from an institution of equal heritage – and all for a tenth of the fee or less – prompting Richardson to warn: “British students are going overseas to get a ‘debt free’ education.”