UCL News


Fees fall short

30 September 2006

For university vice-chancellors welcoming the class of 2006, freshers' week is a time to count the extra pounds that this year's intake, the first generation to pay £3,000 a year for the privilege of gracing the groves of academe, will bring to their institutions.


While full-time undergraduates may believe their fees are making a big contribution to the cost of their degrees - an assumption that may prompt them to become more demanding customers - their actual financial input is only just over a 10th of the revenues of an average university. …

Much of that cash is reduced by the need to provide financial support packages to students from poorer families, something the government insisted on in return for giving universities the right to charge fees.

Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of UCL and current Chairman of the Russell Group of elite universities, says the money only goes a small way to improving his university's finances.

For non-European Union students, the university charges about £15,000, whereas EU students only come with about £6,000 in government subsidy, plus the new tuition fee.

"It falls way short of the cost of educating UK and EU students. It is just not sustainable for the government to continue to make us run our institutions like this," says Prof Grant. …

Any increase would also help to create the proper market in higher education which the government wanted to see, but which failed to transpire when fees were capped at £3,000 - a figure all universities have decided to charge. …

Jon Boone, 'Financial Times'