Ivy League universities luring cream of British pupils from Oxbridge

December 25th, 2007 - 3:44 pm ICT by admin  

London, December 25 (ANI): US universities are attracting talented British teenagers more than Oxford and Cambridge universities because of more substantial American bursaries, say reports.

Leading British schools say that many of the highest-scoring students like opting for a broader curriculum and supposedly superior facilities at Ivy League universities, an elite group of eight in the northeast of the United States.

This finding has raised fears that top British universities may be losing their global standing.

According to official data, 197 British students had applied to Harvard five years ago, while the number has now risen to 290.

It has also been revealed that applications to Yale from British teenagers have more than trebled from 74 in 1997 to 234 last year.

Reports suggest that Harvard University pays students, whose parents income is less than 30,000 pounds, for their tuition fees, accommodation, living expenses and flights home. This package is worth 25,000 pounds.

It is also said that students with household earnings of between 30,000 to 90,000 pounds are required to contribute only 4 to 10 per cent of their income.

The university grants are provided even to people earning more than 100,000 pounds, provided that they have dependants such as elderly relatives or more than one child at university.

We just take the best people wherever they apply from, and we fly to the UK every year to talk to schools about it, Times Online quoted William Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid at Harvard, as saying.

Clarissa Farr, High Mistress of St Pauls Girls School in London, highlighted that the students inclination towards American universities was also due to the fact that they would not have to choose their specialist subject until second year there.

The American universities are very well resourced and their facilities are much bigger. There is also a huge range of scholarships and bursary programmes, she said.

Reports also suggest that while students at British universities find themselves, on average, 30,000 pounds in debt as they complete their graduation, they may emerge debt-free from an American education.

This is so because at some Ivy League universities admissions tutors do not have any idea whether applicants can afford their fees, and keep attracting elite students from around the world, regardless of cost. Alumni donations also make higher education cheaper for students. (ANI)

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