Studies abroad remain a major focus for both high school students and university students

English Section / 14 februarie

Alexandra Badescu (left) and Raluca Niculae (right)

Alexandra Badescu (left) and Raluca Niculae (right)

Versiunea în limba română

The interest of students in studying abroad continues to be very high. Against this backdrop, organizing fairs where the educational offerings of high schools and universities from abroad can be showcased proves to be useful. The Netherlands remains the top destination for study, in terms of the number of applicants, followed by the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Ireland. At the same time, an increase in interest for universities in Germany is expected, where tuition fees range from 0 to 1500 euros per semester for public universities and from 10,000 to 30,000 euros per year for private universities, but where there are also many study programs in English.

Study programs in the UK are back in trend, whether we're talking about high school or university level. There has been a 60% increase in university applications compared to February 2023. Alexandra Bădescu, Deputy General Manager at IntegralEdu, stated: "The explanation for this resurgence is related to the fact that certain UK universities offer substantial scholarships for European students to cover exactly the amount of the tuition fee increase for young people from European countries. From this point of view, British institutions offer the most substantial scholarships at the moment. Here we can mention the University of Portsmouth, which has reduced the tuition fee from £19,200 to £9,250 per year, Coventry University, which has kept the tuition fee at £9,250, University of Essex, which offers a £5,000 scholarship, representing a discount from the tuition fee for undergraduate studies, or Greenwich, which offers a £3,000 reduction from the undergraduate tuition fee. Additionally, Middlesex University has prepared 5 scholarships worth £5,000 for IntegralEdu applicants. After BREXIT, due to uncertainties regarding fees, there was a wave of reluctance among young people only towards higher education institutions because at the high school level, the application demand has increased every year." Some of the most important foreign universities will be present in Bucharest on February 17th, at the World Education Fair (WEF), where substantial scholarships will be awarded to young people from Romania. For example, EU Business School Barcelona offers scholarships and discounts ranging from 10% to 30% of the tuition fee for WEF participants, while Universidad Europea has prepared euro3,000 scholarships for young people with academic potential. The fair also has two local editions in Iaşi and Craiova on February 15th and 16th, respectively, where young people and their families can discuss directly with representatives of educational institutions and educational consultants.

Alexandra Bădescu further specified: "In recent times, the Netherlands has faced a controversial context regarding university studies, mainly due to the lack of accommodation for students, but also due to political disagreements regarding the attempt to impose certain limitations on educational offers for foreigners on universities. Despite this context, the tuition fee level of euro2530 per year, the grant system offered by the Dutch state, as well as the large number of study programs in English, keep the Netherlands at the top of preferences for young Romanians. Despite these realities, from our experience as educational consultants, we believe that all situations can be managed favorably if the application process starts in time. For example, in the case of IntegralEdu applicants, we can say that we have offered assistance to all candidates in finding accommodation, and all the students who applied with us have found solutions." Approximately 40% of young people interested in studying abroad resort to career orientation tests for a clearer understanding of university options, in view of career success. The most sought-after study areas by young Romanians remain in the fields of Computer Science and Business. Important development prospects, related to labor market demand, are in Engineering, Art & Design, and Psychology.

On the other hand, a group of colleges in the UK is launching a competition for Romanian students in 8th, 9th, and 10th grades who are interested in continuing their high school studies in the UK starting with the 2024-2025 school year. The competition will be launched at the World Education Fair, and the first-ranked student can obtain a 70% reduction in tuition fees. The rest of the scholarships cover up to 50% of the fee. Raluca Niculae, Manager of the Camps and High Schools Department, stated: "Every year, numerous independent schools and colleges in Europe and the USA allocate budgets to offer merit scholarships to candidates with special abilities both at admission and during their studies. The amount of scholarships varies from a 5% reduction in tuition fees and can reach, in some cases, a 100% reduction in tuition fees. The types of scholarships offered are academic, sports, or artistic and are awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding performance in one of these areas. The academic scholarship is offered after testing the candidate in one, two, or more subjects that they will study, depending on the chosen study program and the selectivity level of the school. For sports scholarships, the candidate's competitive record in addition to sports trials is taken into account, and for the award of artistic scholarships, the candidate's portfolio is very important."

Preparation for studies abroad begins at increasingly younger ages. Both elite high schools and universities require candidates, in addition to good academic results, a high level of foreign language proficiency, and as much experience as possible in the desired field of study. The decision to continue studies abroad can pose a series of challenges (academic, cultural, social, etc.) for some students, as this change involves a significant dose of adaptability to the new context. In this context, educational camps and internships constitute an essential step prior to studying abroad. Students explore fields, acquire important knowledge, as well as certificates and reports issued by linguistic centers and industry specialists. More and more study fields can be experienced by students within academic and career orientation camps organized on campuses such as UCL, Imperial College, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Berkeley: law & politics, performing arts, media production, banking, computer science & AI, etc. These join the already established fields for educational camps such as architecture, medicine, engineering, entrepreneurship, psychology, etc. At the World Education Fair, participants interested in educational camps will find proposals for new study programs, sought-after destinations in previous years such as the UK, USA, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, France, Singapore, as well as innovations such as Japan.