29 August 2006

Brits flock Down Under for education

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Australia's Daily Telegraph reports an increasing number of British students are heading to Australia and New Zealand to further their education.

According to published reports, the number of British students travelling to the Antipodes to take up undergraduate and postgraduate places had risen by more than a third since 2002. More than 6250 British students were studying in Australia and New Zealand last year.

"Sports sciences, health sciences, and Asian studies have attracted British students in the past," Kathleen Devereux, from the Australian Trade Commission, was quoted as saying.

"But now people who want to study medicine or veterinary science but have failed to gain a place at a university in Britain are considering the move."

"You'd think of the UK market as being a fairly mature market, but we have had 12 per cent year-on-year growth from 2002 to 2005."

While university fees are more expensive in Australia than in Britain, lower living costs and the pound's strength against the dollar make studying abroad an attractive option.

The newspaper said another drawcard was the position of 13 Australian and three New Zealand institutions in the world's top 200 universities, according to the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Kejal Patel, a 22-year-old student from Charlton, South London, hopes to undertake postgraduate study in psychology at the University of New South Wales after struggling to find the work experience needed to secure a place in Britain.

She plans to return to Britain as a chartered clinical psychologist in half the time it would have taken her at home.

"It's really exciting, the standards are very good and it's based on a British education system, so I feel that I would slot in really well," Ms Patel told the newspaper.

"It's also a really dynamic, vibrant country."

Ms Patel expects to work part-time during her two-year course and has applied for a graduate scholarship offered to UK residents wanting to study in Australia.


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