English graduates’ debts is the highest in English speaking world


English university graduates face higher debts on graduation than their American counterparts, and owe more than those in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The report by the Sutton Trust draws on the most recent published data from respective countries.

It shows that while the typical US graduate faces debts ranging from about £20,500 for students studying at public/ private non-profit universities to £29,000 at private for-profit universities, their English counterparts, graduating from last year under the new £9,000 fees regime, owe an average of over £44,000. Partly due to generous scholarships, the average graduate of private non-profit US universities, which include the Ivy League, finishes with £23,000 of debt despite the typical course lasting four years compared to three in England.

However, the report notes that UK graduates benefit from an income contingent system held by the state. These are compounded by interest rates of up to 3% over inflation, but some of their American counterparts face even higher interest rates, with loans that are not income contingent. While UK and Australian graduates can take a ‘repayment holiday’ when their income dips, only 19% of US students receiving the most common federal loans are enrolled on similar schemes.

Tuition fees in England are higher at an average of £8,800 (the maximum is £9,000) than for students going to a home state public university in the US (about £6,600). Fees for students out-of-state and at private universities are often higher in the US, but many have generous bursary schemes that offset fees for low and middle income families.

The report also highlights the growing complexity in arrangements in the UK nations, with different fee levels in Scotland for those from the rest of UK, for example, and grants in Wales that enable Welsh students to take up places at English universities for less than £4,000 a year rather than up to £9,000.

It also notes that while undergraduate recruitment for disadvantaged students has continued to improve since the introduction of higher fees, the numbers of mature and part-time students have fallen significantly.

Read more here: http://www.suttontrust.com/newsarchive/english-students-face-highest-graduate-debts-exceeding-ivy-league-average/