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University Fees: how much should an education cost?
www.easyenglisharticles.com
This class is especially interesting to university students, teens thinking of going to
university, and graduates. Lasts around 1 hour (can stretch to 1h30 if the debate is
properly research and executed).
Materials needed: a copy of the article (below) for each student.
Warmer: ask students to think of words they associate with university. When they
have brainstormed some, explain that in the UK (and the US) many people associate
university with debt. This will lead on to the reading.
Activity 1) Reading. There is a lot of vocabulary that may be new to students, take
time to go through this before they go on to the comprehension questions. Students
should do the comprehension questions quickly on their own (5 minutes) then
compare in small groups.
Activity 2) Discussion questions. Can be done in small groups or as a whole class.
1) How much do people in your country pay to go to university?
2) What do you think of the English system? (price, how they repay etc.)
3) Do you think all universities should charge the same tuition fees? Why/ Why not?
4) Does the price of university influence how many people apply? Would a high
tuition fee stop some students going to university?
5) Some people think that education should be free, do you agree?
Activity 3: class debate: some universities charge higher fees to international
students. Some universities charge different fees for different courses. Do you think
this is fair?
Split the class into two groups. Group one must argue that universities should be
able to charge different students different amounts. Group two must argue that
universities should charge a flat rate to all students.
Give the groups ample time to think of ideas (encourage them to use their phones or
computer to research statistics and examples if you think this will inspire them).
Students then debate the topic.
Optional homework: essay: A university education should be free. To what extent
do you agree with this statement.
For more great lesson plans that have been tried and tested in class by me, check
out www.easyenglisharticles.com
HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY FOR A
UNIVERSITY EDUCATION?
WWW.EASYENGLISHARTICLES.COM
University students in England currently pay £9,000 a year tuition fees; this money pays for the
students’ education and doesn’t cover living costs such as rent, food or books. When these other
costs are considered, the average English student leaves University with £44,000 of debt.
The left-wing Labour party has just announced that if it
wins theGeneral Election in May, the £9,000 tuition fee
will be reduced to £6,000 per year.
University fees is an important subject in British politics.
The last General Election in 2010 was won by the rightwing Conservative party. One of the first things they did
was increase university fees to £9,000 per year. Before
2010, university fees were £3,250 per year.
University students in England start to repay their
student debt when they find a job after they graduate. If
they do not find a job that pays more than £16,910 per
year, they do not have to repay their loan.
Interestingly, university fees are different in different parts of the UK. Scottish students who study at a
Scottish university do not have to pay tuition fees at all. In Wales university fees are £3,810 per year
and in Northern Ireland they are £3,805. English students currently pay three times more than
students in other parts of the UK.
Vocabulary: tuition (n), fees (n), living costs (n), rent (n), debt (n), left-wing (adj), right-wing (adj),
General Election (n), to repay (v).
Comprehension Questions: How much did you understand?
1) How much money do English students currently pay to go to university a year?
2) How much money did English students pay to go to university in 2009? How much in 2010?
3) If Labour win the General Election, how much will tuition fees be?
4) Which party increased tuition fees to £9,000 per year?
5) When do English students start to repay their student debt?
6) How much do Scottish students pay in tuition fees? How much do Welsh students pay?
Discussion Questions
1) How much do people in your country pay to go to university?
2) What do you think of the English system? (price, how they repay etc.)
3) Do you think all universities should charge the same tuition fees? Why/ Why not?
4) Does the price of university influence how many people apply? Would a high tuition fee stop some
students going to university?
5) Some people think that education should be free, do you agree?
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