Anorak News | Down Payment

Down Payment

by | 29th, August 2006

THE cartoon in the Times has a woman eyeing a huge bag. “Thanks mum,” says the card attached to it. A man to her side speaks. Says he: “Aah! He’s air-freighted all his dirty washing.”

This illustrates the paper’s story that British students are increasingly turned on to the idea of studying in Australia.

And the cartoon is not all that fanciful. Anorak recalls the instance where a friend of ours living in New Zealand requested that her mother send her a cleaned duvet from the UK. Mum did as asked.

(Please excuse this inclusion of Anorak and our friends in the news. It’s a habit born of reading today’s Times in which the front page is dominated by a book the paper is serialising, and inside there’s the story of how Times writer Matthew Parris has entered into a civil partnership with his male lover, and columnist Martin Samuel tells us how his dads bon mots are more apt than his own.)

But back to the real news. And we read that since 2002, the number of student looking to study Down Under has risen by a third. Although numbers are relatively small – 6,250 students studied there last year – there is a developing trend.

Rather than exporting bread thieves, Michael Barrymore and other undesirables to Australia, we are now letting them have our unwashed students.

And our scholars are prepared to pay for the privilege. On average, university fees Down Under are between £4,800 and £10,000 a year. The fees are payable each term. This compares with England where fees are £3,000 a year and payable on graduation.

Kathleen Devereux, from the Australian Trade Commission, explains. “The fees in Australia are higher, but the living expenses are much less, so it’s an attractive alternative.”

To help students compare here with there, the Times produces a list of living expense. The facts are based on data gleaned from students at the universities of Bristol and Wellington.

Readers learn that in the UK, students spend £570 on snacks against £270 on the other side of the world. Here they spend £1,481 on entertainment, and £506 there. And then spend £453 on clothes in the UK against £337 in New Zealand.

The conclusion is obvious. The UK is more fashion-conscious and sells more crisps. And that tickets to see the aforesaid Barrymore are cheaper than those for Madonna and other old world acts…

Posted: 29th, August 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink