The turmoil of the higher education system in the UK is set to worsen as fees are due to rise to an unprecedented £15,000.
A recent report stated that the cap on tuition fees might be removed, allowing universities to set their own fees, which could reach £15,000 by 2025.
Split down the middle
The report by researchers at the University of Bath and the University of Twente in the Netherlands also suggested that UK’s higher education system may be clearly split down the middle, between research intensive and teaching orientated universities.
Kingston’ s Vice Chancellor, Julius Weinberg, responded to the report, saying that he felt some of these predictions could well happen, although he was quick to point out that these reports were just educated guesses.
Mr Weinberg said: “We review regularly the changing horizon as we make judgements about how to develop the university. Some of the findings, such as a smaller, more focused research-intensive university sector, seem plausible as does the suggestion that there may be a greater variety of funding models with more private providers.”
Another report found that the UK’s postgraduate system aims towards overseas students who pay higher tuition fees. Many of these overseas students leave the country after completing their course which leaves the UK lacking skilled workers.
The UK is becoming the “education outsourcing capital of the world”, training international students rather than local talent for UK companies.
This is forcing businesses to look abroad for skilled workers, or relocate which could cause long term problems for the UK economy.
200 per cent growth
The report identifies the scale of the growth of overseas postgraduate students, up 200 per cent since 1999, compared with a rise of 18 per cent for UK students.
Likewise, over the past eight years the number of Kingston University international postgraduate students has almost tripled, while the number of UK postgraduate students has doubled.
Over the past five years, just over a quarter of all postgraduate students have been international students, paying overseas fees. This is compared to undergraduate figures, where international students make up less than seven per cent of the 20,000 undergraduate Kingston University students.