Although the UK is considered to have a superpower status among European providers of education, other countries are stepping in the game of attracting international students, offering high-quality, English-speaking programmes for less. With the costs of higher education increasingly rising in the UK, more and more European and international students opt for several European non-English-speaking countries where the cost of living and tuition fees are lower, and where they’re provided opportunities for mingling with other cultures, getting used to a new place, learning a new language, tasting new food, and perhaps even preparing for a successful career in a global world.
Nowadays, you do not have to go to an English-speaking country in order to study in English! Here are a few awesome options that give you the advantage to study an English-speaking programme in Europe:
Holland, the Netherlands or Nederland... Call it what you want, the Pays-Bas, also known as “lower countries”, is the best place in Europe to study a master’s in English. More than ten Dutch universities are listed in the first 200 best global universities list in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015. The Netherlands offers an astounding 869 master’s programmes taught in English. The average tuition fees are around €1,951 for EU students while fees for international students could range between €10,600 and € 16,400 for non-EU/EEA students, depending on the course.
Master-degree English programmes are widespread in Germany, but many BA degrees are also offered in English, too. Many of these programmes set value on international aspects and content. Nearly 144 German higher education institutions offer masters in English and the fees could amount to as little as €1,100 per year, while other colleges could charge nothing at all for European students.
The Scandinavian countries have a long tradition in offering international courses taught in English, and foremost among them is Sweden. One can choose from 707 English-taught master’s degrees, and there are no tuition fees involved for EU students.
Spain is home to more than 70,000 students from around the world, offering 395 English-taught master degrees. The country offers a well-organized and properly executed educational system, as well as relatively affordable costs of living compared to other countries in Europe. Tuition rates at public universities could be around €1,500 per annum, while fees could range from €5,500 to € 12,000 per semester at private colleges.
Although France is notably protective of its mother tongue, it seems that when it comes to higher education, English is making inroads. France accommodates almost 7% of all international students and this share is gradually rising. The country has increased its English-speaking master’s degrees from just 11 in 2007 to more than 350 recently, while the fees at public universities start at nearly €250 per year.
This country has enough languages on its plate with German, French and Italian being the most commonly spoken languages, but some of its universities seem to have their focus on the English-speaking world. Switzerland currently offers 237 master’s degrees taught in English. Tuition costs vary between cantons, but as a rough guide these vary between €500 and €4,000 per annum.
How about making the most of dolce vita while boosting your academic credentials? Italy’s higher education system offers 256 English-taught master’s options in different fields to choose from. Public universities charge nearly €1,500 per year for European students.
Belgium makes an established hub for international relations and politics with plenty of opportunities for international networking. Belgian universities have an international outlook and composition, and offer around 252 English-taught master programmes. The yearly tuition fees at public universities tend to be €600 per year.
The Nordic country boasts one of the best education systems in the world and offers 246 master’s degrees taught in English. Like Sweden, Finnish public universities offer free education for all European students.
As an international student in Denmark, you can choose between more than 500 degree programmes and 1000 courses taught completely in English in a wide range of disciplines – from science, technology, business, architecture to social sciences, and humanities. Danish public universities typically don’t charge tuition fees for European students.
These are just a few alternative options for studying an English-taught programme in mainland Europe. Have you studied in any of these countries? We’d love to hear your experiences…
All images in the article’s main body: The Telegraph