Can the Strategic Education Committee lobby the college to reduce international student tuition fees from the ridiculous heights they have now reached? In most currencies, it is actually now (much) cheaper to study in an Ivy League institution than at Imperial.
Oh yes, if you're unlucky enough to join Imperial in 2009 as a Medic, have fun paying the ?36,000 tuition fee in your 4th, 5th and 6th years.
International league tables suggest that we are the equal of some of the Ivy League universities. In which case we should be entitled to charge similar fees for international students.
For home and EU students, Imperial is much better value than the Ivy League for US students. Why should the British government subsidise education for students who are most likely to take their knowledge out of the UK/EU after graduation?
Many international students are either loaded and/or sponsored. I wouldn't lose sleep either way. If people are willing to pay the fees, they can keep charging them.
The collapse of the dollar means that the costs of studying in the US is maybe two thirds of what it was a few years ago. If it rises in the future it will affect costs the other way.
On the other...
I cannot see Imperial being as recognised worldwide as say Harvard or Princeton. With Ivy League colleges a premium is paid for the name. Outside indusrty, Imperial does not really have that prime branded name (yet).
College have some draconian rules and I found them to be very unhelpful in cases like these. I'd be damned if I give a penny of my money as an alumnus to them...The hardest thing I found is college's refusal and neglect in allowing write-up students the discounted oyster card. I was out of funding and my expenses shot up having to pay both council tax and higher travel fares.
After I complained to ICU about this, they eventually approached TfL to ask for student discounts to be extended to write-up students. At that time TfL refused. I have no idea what their current policy is on this.
"International league tables suggest that we are the equal of some of the Ivy League universities. In which case we should be entitled to charge similar fees for international students."
One league table, compiled by a British newspaper, has ranked Imperial in, or above "Ivy league territory".
I am in no way suggesting the British government (and thus, British taxpayers) should subsidise education for individuals outside its citizenship (and the EU) base, but I would like to allude you to the fact that international student tuition fees for Imperial's engineering courses have increased from ?14,000 in 2004/2005 to nearly ?20,000 for the coming academic year. That's a ~9% increase p.a. (COMPOUNDED).
Sure, the US dollar has weakened significantly over the past year or so, but surely Imperial should consider the fact that virtually all indicators point to a sustained weakness in the US dollar (or rather, a sustained overvaluation in the US dollar since the dawn of the millennium, due for a correction). There's also the fact that if one accesses any Ivy league university website, the word "financial assistance" is virtually plastered on every page relating to costs of studying in one of those institutions. No such thing for IC (at least for International students).
Surely it's gotten to the point where the very brightest brains in the international space would give serious thought to Ivy league institutions, where they would've exclusively considered British universities before.
I would have thought that the US would have always been the more attractive to international students. Even Imperial had next to no international students before the year 2000. It seems that it is the opposite to what you are suggesting.