British independent schools now affordable for expat kids due to shrinking sterling

Published:  10 Sep at 6 PM
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Expat families from across the world are taking advantage of the shrinking pound to enrol their children in British independent schools.

Perhaps the only thing the UK is now famous for is its top quality independent education, available at a high cost to the children of expatriates as well as Britons. Right now, with sterling looking to crash still further between now and the end of the year, the cost of a first-class education and its help in gaining entry to a famous university will be far less than in the immediate past. At this level, a British education has always been regarded as the gold standard by schools all over the world, with returning expat parents as well as those still living overseas now finding it affordable.

At the present time, the parlous state of sterling represents a 15 per cent discount on pre-referendum prices of boarding school fees at an average of £30K and upwards and on university fees plus living expenses at £20K a year. Obviously, the savings are considerable, and likely to get even higher after October 31 unless a miracle occurs. At the same time, London’s property market is gearing down rather than up to free-fall status, again giving incomers big savings on purchase prices. As a result, both business sectors are heading for a boom, perhaps one of the very few in sight for Britain’s post-Brexit economy.

Companies which connect aspiring families with independent education providers are already seeing an increase in numbers of EU-based applicants, especially aimed at British universities. Right now, overseas non-EU applications are up by 8 per cent, and Chinese applicant numbers are now 30 per cent higher than in previous years. There are now more applications coming in from China than from Northern Ireland and, whilst it’s impossible at present to predict the outcome of Brexit, sterling is predicted to stay weak whatever happens.
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