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American public universities are no longer the most expensive in the world

Reuters/Noah Berger
With tuition prices going up, students on both sides of the pond may experience sticker shock.
By Frida Garza
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The US may no longer be the most expensive place to get a college education in the world. New research shows that England has the highest tuition fees at its public universities than pretty much any country in the industrialized world.

A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that undergraduate students at public universities in England paid an average of almost £6,000 ($9,000) in tuition fees for the 2013-14 school  year. That’s compared to an average of £5,400 ($8,200) in the US, the country with the second highest rates, and £3,400 ($5,150) in Japan.

English students have seen tuition rates increase rapidly over the last few years, after the government passed a measure to almost triple the tuition rate in 2010. Until 1998, students in the UK were not required to pay any tuition fee whatsoever to attend their public universities. (In fact, Scottish students still have most of their education costs covered by taxpayers.)

It’s worth noting that the comparison is only between public universities, which are the norm in England. American private universities still had the highest sticker price than any other higher education institution in all 46 countries surveyed. Undergraduate students in the 2013-14 school year paid an average of $21,189 in tuition costs in the US.

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