Oxford and Cambridge shunned by British students who are searching for value for money by studying in the US, say headteachers

Daily Mail, 14/01/15, growing numbers of students are shunning British universities such as Oxford and Cambridge and opting to study abroad as they search for value for money, headteachers have warned. HMC Chairman, Richard Harman, Headmaster of Uppingham School and HMC members Keith Budge, Headmaster of Bedales and Sir Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College are quoted.

Growing numbers of students are shunning British universities such as Oxford and Cambridge and opting to study abroad as they search for value for money, headteachers have warned.

With UK institutions now charging fees of £9,000 a year, some independent schools say that more and more students are taking up offers from overseas universities, especially those in the U.S.

They add that many universities abroad offer more contact time for students with their lecturers than most universities in the UK.

It comes as the deadline for applications to British universities via UCAS approaches tomorrow.

Keith Budge, headteacher at Bedales School, a boarding school in Hampshire, told the Independent there had been a 'discernible increase' in students wanting to study abroad.

He said: 'We had nine per cent of our students accepting offers from abroad.

'It has been at just about five per cent for about six or seven years.'

While Richard Harman, head of Uppingham School in Rutland told the newspaper that one of his pupils had opted to go to Stanford University in California rather than Cambridge.

In November it was revealed that record numbers of British students were choosing American universities amid concerns over rising fees and the quality of degree courses.

More than 10,000 young people attended institutions in the United States - which offer generous scholarship schemes - during the 2013-14 academic year.

This was an eight per cent rise on 2012-13 - the largest year-on-year increase in a decade, according to a report released by the Institute for International Education (IIE).

The top five US universities hosting UK students in 2013-14 were Harvard, Columbia, New York, University of California Berkeley and Yale.

Meanwhile last year, an analysis of figures on Government website Unistats, found that some students get fewer than half the hours of lectures, seminars and tutorials than others studying the same subject at different universities in Britain.

In 2012, Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College, Berkshire, warned that students were being forced to seek courses on the other side of the Atlantic because institutions in this country were stuck in a ‘malaise’.

He said British universities provided less contact time with lecturers and displayed only a ‘perfunctory interest’ in sport and the arts.

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