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Going to university in the UK has traditionally been viewed not only as a ticket to the best job prospects but also as a great opportunity for young people to make the transition from living in the family home to independent living via the buffer zone of university halls or digs.
Historically, the vast majority of university students in the UK have lived in student accommodation, often choosing to study in an establishment some distance from their parental home. Certainly during my student days in the early 90s, it was the norm. In fact, none of my university friends lived at home and students who did so were viewed with pity, it being considered that they were missing out on a, and for some the, major part of student life: the late night socialising and partying.
However, figures from the National Union of Students Accommodation Costs Survey suggest that the rising cost of student accommodation is changing this. Rent for university halls or digs has doubled over the course of a decade. According to the NUS a bog standard basic room in university halls of residence costs on average £3,980 per year and very few first year students pay less than this. Between 2009 and 2012 average weekly student rent rose by 25% to reach £123.96. For many, this leaves no choice but to remain living in the parental home, a much more common scenario in most of the rest of Europe.
Unfortunately for the children of expat parents, living at home while attending a UK university is probably not an option, which means that parents have no choice but to fork out for accommodation as well as tuition fees. The higher fees charged for international students will apply if your children have not been resident in the UK three years prior to starting study in the UK. With international fees starting at £14,000 and only likely to rise in the future, a three year undergraduate degree is looking at costing upwards of £50,000 for expat children, and that’s before you’ve even taken into account day-to-day living expenses.
As with all big expenditure, the key to financial management is forward planning and it is never too early to start saving into an education fund for your children. The sooner you start, the less you will have to pay in the long run as the money you are tucking away will be compounding away and your pot will be growing and growing. Infinity has a wealth of expertise in this specialised area and can help you fund the best possible education for your children.
For more information on education fee planning get in touch today.