11th January 2018
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The number of British private school pupils going to university in the U.S. has risen by a fifth in just three years
New figures show that some of the very brightest students at elite schools are opting for Ivy League universities over British universities.
Harvard is among the most popular destinations and is currently attended by Barack Obama’s daughter Malia and her British boyfriend Rory Farquharson, a former head boy of elite Rugby School. Brown University was also popular in 2014 – the year in which Harry Potter actress Emma Watson graduated.
Between 2014 and 2016, the number of private school pupils from the UK attending US universities rose by 19%, from 637 to 762, according to data from the Independent Schools Council (ISC). The council represents most private schools in the UK.
Barnaby Lenon, ISC chairman, said a growing number are choosing American universities, although the proportion of total ISC pupils remains small – around 2 per cent. He said the surge may be partly down to rocketing fees and living costs in the UK, coupled with the increasing availability of scholarships in the U.S.
“In the United Kingdom now you are paying £50,000 [including living costs] for a three year degree,” he said. “In the U.S. it is also expensive, but they have got a very extensive scholarship programme now going and are paying recruiters to come to Britain. Ten years ago, the great impediment to going to university in America was money. That is less the case now.” He added that many pupils at ISC schools like the ‘flexibility’ of U.S. degrees, which usually take in a much broader range of subjects.
Admissions tutors in the U.S. are also much more interested in extracurricular activities and qualities such as leadership, which many private schools pride themselves on nurturing.
The most popular university for British private school pupils in each of the three years was New York University (NYU), with attendance numbers jumping from 45 to 68 between 2014 and 2016. Former students include pop star Lady Gaga, actresses Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie, and film maker Woody Allen.
Overseas students 'add £20bn' to UK economy
International students are worth £20bn to the UK economy, says a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute. The analysis says on top of tuition fees, their spending has become a major factor in supporting local economies.
London alone gains £4.6bn - with Sheffield the biggest beneficiary in proportion to its economy.
There are about 230,000 students arriving each year for university courses in the UK - most of them postgraduates, with China the most common country of origin.
The analysis, carried out by London Economics, calculated the financial contribution of overseas students, such as spending on tuition and living expenses, and balanced that against costs, including the extra pressure on local services and non-repayment of loans.
The think tank's director, Nick Hillman, says the figures support calls to remove students from immigration targets. Mr Hillman says the report provides comprehensive evidence that overseas students are a significant benefit and that students from outside the European Union, who pay higher fees, are worth £102,000 each to the UK economy.
Read more at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-42637971
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