Tuition Fees: The Unanswered Questions and an Uncertain Atmosphere

Up and down the country at the moment Universities are trying to decide what fees to charge for students starting in 2012. The government expects most to charge £6,000 with only a few charging the maximum £9,000. However, with most universities having their funding cut by 80%-100% charging only £6,000 would leave them with a huge shortfall.

Apart from the obvious impact this uncertainty has on prospective students it also leaves staff in HE facing many questions.

With the increased fees how will students expectations change?

As students could be paying £27,000 or more for a degree, they will surely want more for their money than those who have paid £9,000. The problem universities face is how to meet this increased demand with no more money? How do you improve service whilst making budget cuts?

Will poorer students be put off from applying?

Universities want the best students, not just the richest. With the new fees universities charging over £6,000 will have to take measures to ensure they are widening participation for the poor. Unfortunately, HE institutions and their staff have no idea what these measures will be or how effective they will be. How do you ensure that the best students aren’t put off from applying due to fees?

Will different courses cost different amounts?

In simple, practical terms a course such as chemistry costs more to run than History. Although I’m no chemist, the labs, chemicals and safety equipment must be expensive. Therefore should a Chemistry degree cost more than a History degree? If so does that undermine the History course and make students feel undervalued?

I could continue but each question leads only to further questions that cannot currently be answered.

The point is that an effect of the government’s decision on fees is to create an uncertain atmosphere in Universities for both staff and students. The quicker it is resolved the better it will be for all concerned.

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About Jonathan Nimmo

I work for Oxford Brookes University as an Admissions Administrator in the central Admissions team. This is a new role that has been created and I will be dealing with applications under a new government initiative called Workforce Development or Employer Engagement. Alongside this I will also be dealing with Exchange students. As I went on exchange during my studies at university it will be nice to help other students deal with the same problems I faced. My current role is my second at Oxford Brookes University as I started in the International Office assisting students with visas and other problems that they encountered. I very much enjoy working in Higher Education and even in these challenging times find it hugely rewarding. I hope to be a voice for those of us in the non-academic roles of HE and hope you enjoy reading. And any comments and suggestions for new topics are most welcome!

2 Responses to Tuition Fees: The Unanswered Questions and an Uncertain Atmosphere

  1. Universities in England hoping to charge more than 6 000 for courses have to explain how theyll help poorer students by 19 April 2011. These will detail the fees that institutions intend to charge and the measures they will put in place to help students. In Wales the government says it will provide grants for Welsh students.

  2. test1 says:

    I am continuously searching online for posts that can assist me. Thx!

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