Despite paying higher fees, international students are especially inclined to evaluate the value of their London-based courses positively. London-based courses reign supreme as England’s ‘best value for money’, offering top-tier education in the heart of the bustling city.

According to a recent analysis from THE, students enrolled in London-based courses are more prone to perceive their programme as a worthwhile investment and exhibit elevated levels of contentment in comparison to their counterparts studying elsewhere in England.

London Higher’s new report based on the 2022 Student Academic Experience Survey indicates that although international students in the capital pay higher fees, they are more inclined than domestic students to regard their educational experience as a good or very good value, with 41% versus 35%, respectively.

According to the organisation, students enrolled in smaller, more specialised institutions are more content and view their London based courses as beneficial, which is most likely attributed to the smaller staff-to-student ratios and the intense, specialised education provided.

The report “Living and Learning in London,” produced in collaboration with the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), suggests that the elevated scores for international students studying in London can be attributed in part to a significant number of domestic students who commute from their family homes in or near the city, thereby avoiding the high costs of accommodation. 

Additionally, London’s greater percentage of mature students may have contributed to the city’s high ratings, as those aged 25 and over tend to report a better-than-expected experience in comparison to those aged 21 and under.

International students in London, who said their education was worse than expected pointed to poor teaching and a lack of face-to-face peer interaction as the main reasons, along with ongoing industrial action that has caused classes to be cancelled. 

Diana Beech, the CEO of London Higher, acknowledged the positive findings of the report regarding students’ perceptions of their studies in London with London Based courses. 

However, she said it was important to remember that some students still said their experience was worse than expected. Since the number of student placements in the region is expected to grow the most in the next ten years, Beech stressed the need to deal with the underlying problems that lead to bad experiences.

The report suggests that further research is needed to determine how students from various backgrounds may necessitate distinct teaching methods and how London’s universities can best cater to the requirements of their diverse student populations.

Notwithstanding London’s reputation as an isolating and unwelcoming town, the survey found that its student population was far more likely than that of any other part of the United Kingdom to give their level of happiness a rating of nine or ten on a scale from one to ten.

Furthermore, students in London are the least likely to report experiencing loneliness, with the highest percentage indicating that they never or almost never feel lonely compared to students from other UK regions.

According to Nick Hillman, the Director of HEPI, while there are concerns about the high cost of living in London, which may discourage some students from studying there, the data clearly shows that most students who choose to study in London benefit from their decision.

The president of City, University of London, Sir Anthony Finkelstein, praised the report for putting to rest some false ideas about what it’s like to be a student in London. 

He emphasised the excellent quality and diversity of London’s institutions, as well as the advantages of studying in a global city.

Sir Anthony also thought it was interesting that the report looked at the unique ways in which London institutions work with the city’s job opportunities.