Stopping Hidden Course Costs
The University will no longer expect students to pay costs additional to their tuition fee, unless specified in the module specification.
Part of the ongoing campaign to eradicate student poverty is about ensuring that students know the true costs of university life, so they’re not caught out financially. We’ve already made some important steps to this for international students’ fees, and by lobbying against changes to student loan repayments.
One important financial barrier to students is that £9,000 is not even the whole cost of education. From textbooks to field trips, calculators to lab coats; extra course costs can really build up. I believe that students should have no extra necessary course costs outside of the tuition fees that they are paying… and knowing what those costs are before you pick a module, or even this University, is an important step.
The University calendar (rules) now reads:
“There may, over and above the tuition fee, be additional charges associated with activities such as field trips or placements during particular programmes or with required or recommended equipment; details of such additional costs will be available in full from the relevant faculty/academic unit and will be detailed in the relevant module specification.”
Implementing this rule will be gradual and we will need help from students to identify the faculties and academic units that are leading the way / trailing behind in this process. Later this year, we will hopefully be able to set up a tracking system (similar to a model from Cambridge) so that students can let the University know where this policy is not being implemented. Feel free to post comments below with examples of unexpected course costs that you’ve had to pay out.
As always, cheers for reading – David Gilani – Union President