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Aug 20, 2013 04:38 AM EDT

Top 10 Costliest Countries for Foreign Students Pursuing Higher Education

Australia is the most expensive country for foreign students with the  combined annual average cost of university fees and living expenses at over $38,000 per year.
(Photo : Reuters) Australia is the most expensive country for foreign students with the combined annual average cost of university fees and living expenses at over $38,000 per year.

Australia has been rated the costliest country for overseas higher education, according to a report by HSBC. The world's sixth largest country has surpassed the United States and Britain.

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This report has thrown up a few surprises for international students as Britain was usually considered to be the costliest, in terms of both tuition and living expenses. When the economic crisis hit both Europe and the U.S., most of the higher educational institutions hiked tuition to compensate for state budget cuts and to increase their revenues. This move drove most of the foreign students away to supposedly less costly countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

However, the findings of this report thwart all assumptions. Although, the average annual tuition fees for foreign students in Australia and the United States are approximately the same, about $25,000, the higher cost of living in Australia has placed the country on top of the list.

In Australia, foreign students need to shell out about $38,000 per year , whereas it costs about $35,000 in U.S. and $30,000 in Britain.

"While Australia has continued to enjoy higher economic growth than other western markets over the past five years, this has also led to a higher Australian dollar which has placed a strain on the price competitiveness of our export sectors, including education," said Graham Heunis, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management for HSBC in Australia.

"While Australia's education sector has taken a hit in terms of overseas student numbers, the proportion of international students in Australia remains strong, indicating many are looking past the cost impact to other factors such as quality of life and education and proximity to home. Having withstood the cost pressure of the high Australian dollar for the past three years, Australia's tertiary institutions could see international student numbers swing back with the falling Australian dollar," said Heunis.

HSBC arrived at the ratings after analysing public data in 13 countries. They combined average cost of university fees and living expenses to calculate the average costs per year for international students.  

The most affordable country among the 13 surveyed regions was Germany, with an average of $6,200 a year in tuition and living expenses. In Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong were the most expensive for international students, where students paid about $24,000 and $22,000 annually.

 "Even though the market for higher education remains segmented and therefore mispriced at an international level, the cost is going up everywhere as government subsidies are rolled back," said Malik Sarwar, HSBC's Global Head of Wealth Development.

Average annual cost of studying abroad for international students

Country

Annual fees (USD)

Annual cost of living (USD)

Annual total (USD)

Australia

25,375

13,140

38,516

United States

25,226

10,479

35,705

United Kingdom

19,291

11,034

30,325

United Arab Emirates

21,371

6,004

27,375

Canada

18,474

7,537

26,011

Canada

18,474

7,537

26,011

Singapore

14,885

9,363

24,248

Hong Kong

13,182

9,261

22,443

Japan

6,522

12,642

19,164

Russia

3,131

6,310

9,441

China

3,983

4,783

8,766

Taiwan

3,270

4,987

8,257

Spain

1,002

6,004

7,006

Germany

635

5,650

6,285


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