Monday, 7 March 2011
A Consequence of Westminster's Higher Education Policy
Maastricht is a typical Dutch town being well versed in English, German and French as well as Dutch. I've only visited once and that was a day trip to hear a concert in the old Music Hall and not the splendid glass apparition which houses today's performances.
Throughout Europe universities offer more than 2,400 courses in English and Maastricht university is benefitting from providing its share. UK students are choosing the Dutch town because the annual fees are only about £1,450 while those in England are due to rise to an annual maximum of £9,000.
Another bonus is that Maastricht university's entry requirements are low in order to allow everyone a chance. The dropout rate is initially high then quickly drops. They are currently processing more than 200 applications from the UK, six months before the deadline for the next academic year, and expect many more.
Professor Taun Dekker, vice-dean of University College:
He and fellow vice-dean Dr Mark Stout, are passionate about their university and with 94% employment rates for students within six months of graduation, the results support their ethos.
I'm not too sure Edinburgh or St Andrews would agree and Dr Stout seems unaware that Scottish universities will not be charging fees to those who live in Scotland.
However, Valencia and Milan universities are also seeing a rise in UK interest. It's encouraging to see young people choosing to study abroad even though it is mainly for financial reasons. Experiencing other cultures in this way is far more intriguing than gap year trips.
This trickle towards Europe will increase and affect the English universities which are not part of the Cambridge/Oxford group; a result of the UK government's badly planned higher education policy.