VICTORY IS OURS!
TLDR: For current first or second year students the fees won’t be raising for the 2017/18 academic year; it will be decided in June if the fees will rise for you in 2018/19 and from that point onward. For new students starting in 2017/18 the fees will be £9250; year 0 students are classed as new students so will be paying the same fees.
Victory is ours!
Last week myself, the other Presidents - Ellie and Becky - and our Head of Membership, Katie met with Roni, Deputy Vice-Chancellor to discuss the tuition fee rises for the 2017/18 academic year. Ellie – who is also a Board of Governors member – has been the lead President involved in all the deliberations up until this point.
As many of you will know, the Government decided to screw with us again (surprise!) by setting in place a new way to rank universities called Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Along with this, they gave universities the option to raise their fees in line with inflation (a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money) for universities who were awarded silver or gold..
UCA is expected to receive silver, and being a small and specialist university, needs all the money it can get; so it was decided there was no option but to raise fees for new students to £9250. This put us as your Union in a tough position, although we understood the reasoning behind needing to raise the fees, we knew it was going to be hard to explain this to you, since you already pay so much. Nevertheless, we chose not to fight the University on this and instead directed our anger at the real culprits, our selfish Government.
November 19th we were out there on the protest organised by National Union of Students (NUS), with our pretty and witty placards, chanting our anger for the world to hear.
It still hadn't been decided whether you - as current students - would have to pay the new tuition fees the same as the new students. The University asked our opinion on how we thought you would feel about this, and we said we couldn't support them on this one, as we felt it was unfair that you came to university thinking you were paying one thing, and then end up paying more. The University understood that they needed to speak to students directly to get their input and didn't want to decide anything without speaking face to face with students. We helped them host Student Engagement Workshops where students were able to come and speak directly to the Leadership team of the University about how they felt about the fee rises.
After much deliberation, the University decided there hadn't been enough time to consult with students about this before it needed to be implemented, so they agreed to our delight that they will pause the new fee for current students for 2017/18, and will deliberate in June at the Board of Governors, whether your fees will be raised in 2018/19 and after this. Current international students will pay £12,350 for 2017/18 and then again, in June it'll be decided whether they will increase for 2018/19.
For more information on how UCA chooses to raise fees and spends money, download:Student_QAs-1485769080009. If you'd like to read the University’s full announcement, head over to myUCA.