David Gilani

Stopping Hidden Course Costs

hidden-costsThe 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

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6 Comments on "Stopping Hidden Course Costs"

  1. David
    07/02/2014 at 6:34 pm Permalink

    Some international students studying geology have the unexpected additional cost of paying for visas on european field trips!

  2. David
    David Gilani
    14/02/2014 at 12:11 am Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Henry. That’s a really bad one that I’d never thought of…

  3. David
    13/02/2014 at 5:23 pm Permalink

    Unless this has changed, all students who require a calculator in exams have the cost of one with the University logo on it (even if they currently possess the identical model)

  4. David
    David Gilani
    14/02/2014 at 12:18 am Permalink

    Hey Louisa – cheers for sharing.

    Luckily enough, I believe that the University is removing that rule at the end of this academic year – so at least for future years of students, they won’t have to buy a specific UoS calculator, but just a specific model set. So it’ll still cost students something… but maybe just not quite as much… and some people might not have to if they already have the right calculator.


  5. David
    13/02/2014 at 5:45 pm Permalink

    Medicine does this.

    In the first two years for placements we have to pay a lump sum of over £100 for travel expenses- even if you are not receiving any for the placements in that year. It’s utterly ridiculous.

    Also we had to pay the fee for our CRB checks upon starting the course.

  6. David
    David Gilani
    14/02/2014 at 12:20 am Permalink

    Hey Pete – thanks for commenting.

    You have to pay it EVEN if you don’t have any placements that year!? That’s ludicrous!

    Do you know how much CRB checks usually sets back the average medicine student?

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