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Budget-friendly Uni Destinations in Europe Gain Popularity | This Week in Admissions News

26 AUG 2022

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students with top university ambitions, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.This week, a new study by Studyportals reports that students searching for budget-friendly programs are increasingly choosing Europe as a study destination. Check back next week to see what’s new and noteworthy in university admissions!


Budget-friendly Uni Destinations in Europe Gain Popularity

International students are increasingly looking for budget-friendly study destinations in Europe as they look to “tighten the belt,” according to new data from Studyportals.

Italy is gaining momentum as a more budget-friendly destination, according to senior editor at Studyportals Cara Skikne. “This, together with the high quality of education and good scholarship programs has meant rising student demand,“ she explained.

The interest for university education in Italy has increased by 45% from last year. Portugal is also experiencing a lot of growth with a surge of 29%, followed by Poland at 28%.

“The cost of studying and living in Italy is low, especially in smaller cities – universities are offering support to new students in finding accommodation, giving scholarships, waiving tuition fees, among other measures,” Skikne commented.

With a 55.2% increase in demand, Italy has seen the highest surge of interest in bachelor's programmes, followed by Spain and Belgium with an increase of 41% and 38% respectively. Interest in master's programmes in Italy has also spiked by 42.5%, followed by Poland and Portugal.

Skikne speculates that Italy's efforts to market itself as a budget-friendly option with affordable living costs could be behind the rise in demand.

The biggest shift in demand for Italy comes mostly from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). “Student interest from non-EEA students has surged even more – up by 52%. This strong growth in interest is driven by a surge in students from Iran, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” said Skikne.

The focus on budget-friendly options could also contribute to the increase in interest in education in Portugal and Poland.

Denmark's data, on the other hand, showed a decline in student interest with an almost 7% drop over the past year, with a staggering 20% drop in interest for bachelor’s degrees. “The number of English-taught programs in Denmark has fallen from 518 in 20129 to 353 in 2022 – the government is focusing on reducing the English-taught courses from universities,” Skikne remarked.

In addition, Denmark's cost of living is high, with students needing to make at least 1,200 euros per month to live there, making it one of Europe's most expensive study destinations.

Despite only a 1% increase in demand, Germany remains as the top study destination in Europe, but Skikne suggests keeping an eye on it, given its current demand outlook. “Germany remains the number one destination in Europe, but relative interest is waning,” Skikne shared.

Other top stories in admissions news this week:

  1. According to a report from the New York Times, US President Biden announced on Wednesday that millions of Americans will be able to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt. Pell Grant recipients who meet the income requirements may be eligible for an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness. It is likely that the announcement will lead to a renewed focus on the affordability of higher education in the US in the coming months.
  2. Times Higher Education writes according to UCAS data, following the UK’s return to end-of-school examinations after two years of teacher-assessed grades, 374,580 applicants have been accepted on to their first-choice uni — more than 20,000 fewer than last year. The decline "was driven by a sharp drop in the number of students accepted by the most selective universities," though the story notes admissions figures are re-aligning with where they were before the pandemic.
  3. TIME reports for the first time since 2014, the College Board has added a new Advanced Placement course called AP African American Studies. The class is College Board's 40th AP offering and beginning next year, students will officially be able to earn college credit for the course at about 35 colleges. Henry Louis Gates Jr., one of America’s foremost experts on African-American history, who helped develop the AP African American Studies curriculum, said of the announcement: "Nothing is more dramatic than having the College Board launch an AP course in a field—that signifies ultimate acceptance and ultimate academic legitimacy.
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