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The Benefits of a US or UK University Education

In today’s increasingly globalized world, many Australians are considering the option of pursuing university degrees abroad. However, many also question the value-add of an international education, especially considering the high investment required. Despite these costs, for many students, the tradeoff is worthwhile - from opportunities for a higher quality education, to post-graduation salaries ranges that are substantially higher than local equivalents, the benefits of studying in the US or UK provide a strong return on investment. 

Each year, top universities around the world are ranked on lists that assess numerous criteria, ranging from academic reputation and research output, to student-faculty numbers, employer reputation and more. And with each unveiling of these rankings, universities in the US and UK consistently dominate the top 50. 

 

These universities offer degrees with the highest academic reputation and feature world-leading experts in academia, including faculty members who are Nobel laureates, Fields medallists, international politicians and business leaders. 

Facilitating these learning opportunities are world-class facilities - libraries filled to the brim with ancient manuscripts, research laboratories for students and faculty alike to conduct ground-breaking research, sporting facilities that foster future Olympians, and unparalleled dining halls that resemble scenes from the Harry Potter movies.

 

This level of infrastructure, coupled with strong international reputations, often create a misconception that these universities have large student bodies. However, on many of these campuses, it is common to see class sizes with a 5:1 student to faculty ratio. To maintain small class sizes, many of these universities admit only 1,000 to 2,000 students each year, and with applicants from around the world, acceptance rates can be as low as 4-5%. 

While such statistics may appear daunting, many universities feature an international student cohort that makes up 10-15% of the student body, and enforce the importance of diversity.  

Diverse student bodies are important as the residential, campus-centric experience at many of these universities emphasize the notion of not only learning from faculty within the classroom, but also from peers outside the classroom. Indeed, creating student bodies that reflect both cultural and socioeconomic diversity lends itself to students learning from others’ rich experiences, cultures and perspectives. Many students emphasize that a key takeaway from university was their learnings from meeting classmates from every walk of life. 

This diverse experience on campus may only last several years, but the connections forged at the university last a lifetime. These institutions feature powerful alumni networks, connecting current and past students around the world. Aside from making sizeable financial donations to the university, alumni are also known to return to campus to recruit soon-to-be graduates for internships and full-time positions, including at leading, global companies such as Google, Amazon, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey. 

These prestigious job opportunities can present a substantial contrast from local equivalents. University graduates in Australia can oftentimes expect to earn an annual salary of $50-65K AUD, depending on their field of study. In contrast, US graduates can be earning salaries of $100K USD or more in certain fields, such as finance and consulting. 

Additionally, many universities in the US and UK provide scholarships and financial aid - for example, Harvard reported that 70% of last year’s class (including international students) received some amount of financial aid - further strengthening the ROI of overseas study. 

Finally, each year, more people are recognizing the value of the world-class education at these institutions, which has seen a constant rise in application rates and a subsequent decrease in admissions rates. This is why Crimson Education exists - to support students in crafting their best possible application. Indeed, students who work with Crimson increase their chances of admission by up to 4x, and have collectively attained $68M in financial aid and scholarships in the past five years. 

Comments

Perth
In the 19th century, a relatively large number of (wealthy) Australians studied overseas because of the lack of choice here. Now Australia has eight universities in the top 100 in the world and at least 20 rate in the top 500. All universities have excellent student exchange opportunities with leading universities around the world. Employers have access to Australian graduates with 21st century skills and a curriculum that encourages global thinking, critical analysis and creativity.

Perth
Newsflash; Australian grads in finance also earn $100,000 straight out here at home. Among top tier bulge bracket investment banks, starting salaries are $105,000 in 2019. Apples to apples, not dissimilar. Going further, general business grads base salaries are 30-40 per cent higher in Australia than the US. The real difference is cultural, “the full university experience” can’t be found down under.

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