Equal opportunities...Just pretence!


Guys, this issue has been puzzling me alot! Ponder this, a foreign research student, working on a topic that in essence is investigating issues affecting the local (British) population. However, this student is charged 3 times higher the fees solely on the basis he/she is an international student not forgetting that whatever he is working on will eventually be used locally. Isn't this bureaucratic? Talk of the big fish always wanting to swallow smaller fish!!! Any thoughts on this? :-s


This isn't an equal opportunities issue - this is about how universities secure funding. It wouldn't matter what the the international student was working on, thing is, they still need to pay fees for the 'privilege' of studying in the host country. They will eventually go back to their home country, and use the knowledge gained OS there, so the host country doesn't gain the long-term benefits, even though does gain the shorter term benefits of the research results.

Avatar for XJR

Because the fees UK students pay are subsidised by the govenment. The UK govermnet can afford to subsidise fees for UK students but couldn't afford to subsidise the fees of people coming to study in the UK from other countries. I believe in some cases the fees of EU students are also subsidised and it is only non-EU students that pay the full cost of their fees.

Higher education in Britain gains a large amount of its funding from the taxpayer, so students coming over from families who have paid nothing into the UK/UK higher education in tax won't be entitled to a subsidised education - they will therefore have to pay the full cost of their education. Might not sound fair but thats just the way it is.

There are overseas scholarships for foreign students studying in the UK, but like almost all other sources of postgraduate funding they are extremely competitive.


I am sorry to hear that you are in the same school of thought as your politicians! Well I've been to France, Spain and the nordic countries and students are all treated as students and equally no matter their origin. What happens here is that you are not judged on merit but on where you come from and possibly colour. That's the naked truth! and by the way, their education programmes are more superior than the British!


It appears it doesn't matter what we think (or what we know), you've already made your mind up. Was there really any point posting this or are you just flaming the board?


Sylvester, thank you for your reply. I know this post rubs many the wrong way! but, it is important for you and others know that imperialism isn't as good as those who benefit from it see/view it. I am sure if you were the victim you would view it differently. (up)

Avatar for XJR

Benm, look at it logically:

How could the UK government possibly afford to subsidise the education of students coming to study in the UK from every single country in the world? They can't, so they don't.

There are some schemes to fund international students like international overseas research scholarships (funded by the UK government/British taxpayer), but the fact remains that if international students want to study in the UK they usually have to pay the going rate.

Avatar for sneaks

I don't think you can say universities discriminate on colour - any White international student would be charged the same fee as a non-white international student!

Other european countries may also have different funding arrangements to the UK also, although I don't know and I doubt you do either. I see international students as having to pay more because it is a privilege to study in the UK and you should have to pay a bit more because a) you are taking up a place from a UK resident and b) you may require more resources



I've got no problem with that at all! If a student is coming to pursue a bachelor's degree and as soon as go back to their country thats okay. But my main issue is with research students who actually are working on research projects that will later help the local populations! and yet all over the years they've paid 3 times higher the local rate! There's no way that can be fair enough....


Quote From benm:

Well I've been to France, Spain and the nordic countries and students are all treated as students and equally no matter their origin. What happens here is that you are not judged on merit but on where you come from and possibly colour. That's the naked truth! and by the way, their education programmes are more superior than the British!

I doubt as many students from international countries study in france, spain or the nordic countries compared with the number that want to come to UK universities.....!??!? I don't know, i'm just guessing! and if they are more superior then why don't they go there?

Avatar for sneaks

Realistically your project cannot be guaranteed to help local populations - you might hope that it does, but without proper transfer of information after your research, then it may just sit around in a draw - or it will be someone elses job to implement ideas based on your findings. You are paying for the privilege to study in the UK regardless of topic.

My research should dramatically help the plight of a certain population group - but does it motivate them to participate in my research - no. So no one is obliged to give you lower fees, just because you think your project is more worthwhile than others.


Hi Benm, interesting topic! I worry about this a lot.

Firstly, on a slightly different ilk, I feel that universities are dumbing down the UG degrees in order to cater for students with v.poor English skills, in order to milk the international cash cow. I have first hand evidence of first year UGs (NB plural) being passed, even when their written work is absolute gobbledygook.

From my point of view I feel that work that is entirely beneficial to the British population should probably be undertaken by a British student. My Justification, the person highly specialised techniques/knowledge is more likely to stay here and benefit the nation, both from a tax return and social point of view. Foreign students should pay more, as in *most* cases (anecdotal evidence) they go back to their country of origin taking the skills with them. A better system may be for their country of origin to subsidise their stay here(?). Of course, that would rely upon British universities providing a tip top education to attract foreign government investment.

Another point, often funding for science research and consumables comes from UK sources (charities, government, university coffers) and is used to train international students. You could argue that that represents a pretty impressive subsidy for non-UK students from a UK source.

Avatar for Eska

One of the good things about being self funded is that you are free to choose your own topic; so the student you describe did not have to take a UK centred topic, or attend a UK university, if they didn't want to, and weren't planning to stay in the UK. (some do wish to stay here).

It pays to put some thought into where and what you are studying before you begin a PhD course, and a bit of research may have led to the student finding other countries or topics they prefered, and thus, made a better personal choice.

I think there is racism in our education system, as there is in any Western system, but what you describe is not an example of racism.


TheAce, Excellent! You've summed it well..Let's milk the international cashcow and forget about the quality! Forget about that student who can't write anything tangible in english. Another question was asked, why don't international students go to other Euro nations? simply, for them they don't look at "how much are you willing to pay?" They look at how much can you deliver and offcourse they are disadvantaged by the language- well English is more popular (quite sad!). You may rejoice now but the truth is, this imperialism (it actually never ended!). However, the politicians like dancing to those kind of tunes since they divide people and offcourse give them power!

Avatar for sneaks

I see a lot of rubbish international students being pushed onto courses because it means lecturers can take on 1 international, for 3 home students, so they can provide better teaching to a smaller class. However, some of them have awful language skills and usually end up doing badly. I know I am prone to the odd grammatical error and typo - but Benm, your language doesn't seem too great either!