The Daily Telegraph
Foreign and British students are ‘pitted against each other’
THE university system is pitting British and foreign students against each other, a Russell Group vice-chancellor has warned.
Prof Shitij Kapur, vice-chancellor of King’s College London, said universities were relying financially on international students paying higher fees.
“If universities cannot recruit more international students, they will be forced to replace loss-making UK admissions with international ones, inviting a vicious discourse that pits ‘home’ student versus ‘foreign’ student,” he said in a new paper.
“Or, worse still, the whole system will be allowed to decline in quality – with the first to suffer being the student.”
Domestic students pay fees of £9,250 per year, set in 2012, while international student fees can be as high as £38,000 per year.
Prof Kapur said that funding UK university research through international student fees was “inherently precarious” and instead it should be funded by the Government.
“The UK’S ambition to become a science and technology superpower cannot be left to the vagaries of decisions about study destinations by students and affluent parents in overseas nations,” he said.
Prof Kapur said domestic students studying careers such as nursing, social work or teaching were also being left to subsidise peers studying courses which would lead to higher salaries, such as dentistry. He suggested that the UK could adopt a similar system to Canada or Australia, where students paid lower fees to study courses such as nursing than they did to study dentistry or law.
He also noted in the paper, UK universities: from a Triangle of Sadness to a Brighter Future, that 73 per cent of students enrolled in 2022-23 in the English system may default on their loans, while 100 out of 144 UK universities reported an operating deficit in 2021-22.