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Student Fees

May 22, 2012 11:39 AM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Tony Gillam - Gedling Borough Council - asked - May 21 2012

A question for our all-knowing readers, on student fees.
The grant which the government gives to universities to subsidise student fees - does it subsidise the fees of all students (including foreign students) or just EU students, or just British students?

Response from 18 members

I got 3 people who said they didn't know but would like to and 15 different opinions! However, there was a "hard core" of respondents saying similar things. I also received references to about a dozen websites.

The reason for the question was my knowledge that all governments are hopeless at PR but the present government, perhaps because it is trying to do more, seems to be even worse at PR than previous governments.

I did think that, if there had been an argument that grants given to universities went to subsidise the fees of all students (therefore of "overseas" students) that would have come up as part of our defence during the controversy. As it didn't come up, then probably, it wasn't the way things work. Clearly, the fact the EU students are subsidised would not have arisen as we didn't want to provoke even more anti-EU feeling.

So the likely position appears to be:

1: the position for Scottish and perhaps Northern Ireland students is different to those from England and Wales

2: the position on fees varies from university to university

3: the government grant goes to English, Welsh and EU students (British students in EU countries receive reciprocal subsidies, probably)

4: from next year, the grant may apply only to certain subjects, but this is changing on an (ir)regular basis

5: we will soon be charging the highest fees in the world

6: the government is working very hard to make the position even more complicated - that's why we employ the best brains in the country in the Civil Service - fortunately their success rate is very low because of all the rules they have to follow.

Thank you all. I will now retire to my bunker and see if I can think of a way to get the County Council to do something about parking on a junction in my ward. It's got something to do with some construction work and planning conditions.....

Tony Gillam

Chris Nelson responded - 21 May 2012

EU students was my understanding.
International fees are separate from, and usually higher than, those charged to EU nationals.

Grantley Lycett Responded 21 May 2012

Overseas students have to pay the "full economic cost" and their fees are not subsidised. EU students pay the same as home students. The idea is that British students get subsidised fees if they go to EU Universities. Of course, the traffic is mostly one way because of language issues.
By the way, the government funding will be reduced next year. I haven't been able to confirm this but I believe that it will be reduced by more than the equivalent of £9000 per student. It will be interesting times for the universities. Students will be expecting and demanding more for the "extra" money but there will be no extra funds to provide anything more.