Having collected university tuition fees data for over 10 years, The Knowledge Partnership (TKP) has a wealth of knowledge on the trends in tuition fee setting and how this varies by factors such as subject, degree award and location. Although tuition fees appear to be universally rising, the scale of the increase is not unanimously shared by each institution.
Analysis of the five-year trend from 2017/18-2021/22 has found that full-time campus-based students were presented with fees almost one-fifth higher in 2021/22 than four years prior. In some subject areas the increase was over 25% for international postgraduates, whilst Russell Group providers collectively increased international fees by 23-24%. Home students have not been shielded from the rises, with postgraduate home fees for on-campus courses increasing by 3.3% in 2021/22 compared to 2020/21 and by 20% since 2017/18. Postgraduate distance/blended learning programmes have also become more costly, although average fees were found to be lower than those calculated for on-campus provision. This price differential is particularly notable for international learners studying wholly online, with some institutions charging one standard fee for both home and international students.
The following presents just a snapshot of the findings observed by TKP’s analysts on full-time campus-based course data covering the period 2017/18-2021/22. Analysis of more recent data will be undertaken in the Summer, by which time it is hoped the newly completed 2022/23 databases can be updated with fees for those courses/institutions which are yet to publish their fees.
The Tuition Fee Benchmarking Tools enable users to mine the data in numerous ways, including university mission group, award type or subject (e.g. STEM versus HASS). Competitor analysis can be undertaken, and new competitor courses identified. Additional insights from data on alumni discounts and entry requirements can further prepare universities to assess how to pitch their offer and attract their target students.
The tuition fees landscape is complex and TKP’s analysts remove non-standard courses from general analyses, such as courses with fees in a different currency, lower-level postgraduate diploma/certificate awards and MBAs. Medical, Dental and Health courses are often analysed separately, due to heightened fees for the former and government funding/fee restrictions on the latter.
From 2022/23, users of the postgraduate tuition fee tools have access to data for part-time campus-based and January start courses for the first time. This will enable TKP and our clients to expand analysis to uncover additional trends and observe differences between the full-time, part-time and distance learning markets.