Fees to rise to £9,000

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Durham University is planning to raise tuition fees to the maximum level of £9,000 per year, Palatinate can exclusively reveal.

The proposals also include a programme of scholarships and bursaries, the details of which are to be announced in the spring. Durham’s pricing plan was confirmed following a meeting of its University Council.

Vice-Chancellor Chris Higgins said: “With our plans for a generous and flexible programme of financial support, we aim to ensure that affordability will not be a barrier to Durham attracting the best and brightest students.

“The value of a Durham degree, enhanced with the opportunities we provide for participation, pastoral support, leadership and personal development in our community, is clear.”

Professor Higgins was adamant that the near tripling of fees will not put students off, describing investment in study at Durham as having “life-long rewards.”

Durham Students’ Union president Sam Roseveare also defended the decision, welcoming the plan to develop a programme of student support.

“Competition for places at Durham in several subjects is the highest in the UK and a Durham degree is worth the investment.

“We will now be looking to the University to fulfil its commitment to providing the further enhancements to student services and facilities that will now be possible.”

The move comes after Oxford, Imperial, Exeter and Cambridge have all announced that they will charge £9,000 a year.

Unlike Durham, which is to announce its plans in the coming months, both Oxford and Cambridge have set out the details of a package of fee bursaries and subsidies.

Cambridge is promising to introduce means-tested support of £3,500 for poorer students, which can be spent to reduce tuition fees or as a cash sum in a bursary.

Under Oxford’s proposals, students from households with an income of less than £16,000 per year will only pay £3,500 for their first year, the rest of which would be paid by a university subsidy. Subsequent years would cost £6,000 per year.

There will also be fee reductions for students from families earning up to £25,000 per year.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had claimed that Oxford and Cambridge would have to “dramatically increase” the numbers of students from less privileged backgrounds before they would be able to charge £9,000 fees.

However, the guideline on access agreements from the Office of Fair Access suggests that it will not act as a price regulator.

It instead says that universities charging £9,000 fees will have to spend £900 on protecting access for poorer students.

There were initially mixed reactions from Durham students to the government’s decision to raise tuition fees.

In a march on Palace Green in November of last year, there were a variety of opinions expressed, but overall the protest was attended by just a few hundred students.

According to an official statement, a programme of scholarships and bursaries “will ensure that Durham continues to recruit the students with the greatest merit and potential, regardless of background, to benefit from Durham’s distinctive degrees.”

Stay tuned to www.palatinate.org.uk for the details of the proposed bursaries and scholarships.

What do you think of Durham’s decision to raise tuition fees? Leave a comment below or email news@palatinate.org.uk with your thoughts.

20 thoughts on “Fees to rise to £9,000

  • Only rahs need apply 🙁

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  • Did Chris Higgins and friends just sit down and say, “Let’s see how many people we can put off going to university, shall we?”

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  • absolutely disgusting, no surprises though, result of MPs lies as usual. Should not be accepted- protest should not die out, I hope this will mean an increased quality of teaching as I have been surprised by the often poor quality of teaching at Durham. If they want to charge this amount the teaching should be above average which is where i think it currently lies. I have experienced unfair marking systems, restricted module choices and uninspiring lecturers. Obviously this is not universal, there are some fantastic minds working at Durham University.

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  • why exactly has anyone liked this article? i hate the rich kids at this uni

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  • We must have the only SU president in the country that thinks his job is to stick up for this crap. What a joke.

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  • in my experience a lot of those elected to such positions at durham university are yes men trying to improve their CVs and nothing else with no idea what the U stands for in SU

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  • Do you really think the DSU president saying ‘no this is a bad idea’ would make the uni change their minds?! Also, considering they need to charge £7000 to put on a degree, plus charge everyone an extra £900 so that they can pay for poorer students’ bursaries and for access initiatives, that already makes a fee of £7900.

    So it’s really not surprising that they decided to round it up to £9000 – very few students are going to suddenly be not put off by a £7900 fee instead of £9000, it seems 99% likely that all other top ten unis will charge £9000 so they wouldn’t lose any students that way…the university really have no incentive not to charge £9000.

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  • Also James, they’re probably ‘liking’ it in order to publicise it, or maybe they are approving of the university publishing a figure after a few months of deliberating.

    It doesn’t mean that they are (a) rich, or (b) support the increase in fees.

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  • Inevitable. Expect other research intensive universities to fall in line. We will then hear the hypocrisy of government saying how dare universities charge the maximum amount…

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  • Emma,
    It’s not just about whether the pres saying anything will make a difference, that sort of defeatist talk is why our nation will always be dominated by one of two parties which are starting to look suspiciously similar..

    Though, good points otherwise.

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  • Support up to a household income of £25,000 is a joke, that’s less support than is available now!

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  • Emma, I completely agree, well said on all counts

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  • Lexie,

    The grant only covers students with household incomes up to £25,000 now – the limit’s been cut each year over the past 3 years.

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  • When are the government going to make it clear how many “less priviliged” are going to be needed for unis to be able to charge £9000?

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  • To be honest I’m only surprised that Chris Higgin’s didn’t get this announcement out sooner, like the second Oxford and Cambridge announced so that similarly to ‘cool by association’ he could reinforce his rediculous Doxbridge brand!

    I don’t see why I should pay treble the current fees just for him to ‘smile’ at me like an old man abusing a young person at the beginning and end of my degree!

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  • Yes, Higgins’ “Excellence with a smile” is utterly cringe-worthy and more than a little creepy. Let’s see what they actually *do* about access, then…

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  • £9000 is an actual joke – the value of a degree is so low at the moment. Much as this rise in fees might eventually solve the problem of too many people going to uni and devaluing degrees, it needed to be sorted out sooner (and therefore less radically). The first people to pay £9000 are going to get screwed over, as they’ll be competing in the job market with people who have paid a third as much for their education. Grrrrr.

    Oh and Emma:
    “…that already makes a fee of £7900.

    So it’s really not surprising that they decided to round it up to £9000.”

    Yeah, I often round things up by £1100. Standard. 😐

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  • As a Durham graduate (Collingwood 1996-99) who got the benefit of a free education and campaigned against the introduction of tuition fees as President of the university’s Lib Dem society, I was frustrated to see the DSU President’s comment included on the official university statement.

    I am not saying that the university is wrong, given the situation they find themselves in, to set fees at that level. But for the tripling of fees to be “welcomed” by a student union president is a ludicrous position to take. Every opportunity to denounce this fee increase should be taken and I would be protesting very loudly if my student union president was making the student body look complicit in supporting £9,000 fees.

    And, for the record, after university I was elected as a Lib Dem councillor in London in 2002 and have been re-elected twice, but in December quit the party after the tuition fees vote in Parliament and now sit as an independent.

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  • Sue,

    I didn’t say normal people would – I said the uni would. Big difference!

    There really is no incentive for them to price themselves at £8000 rather than £9000. Seeing as the repayment is basically a capped graduate tax, students would barely notice the difference over 30 years – and many of them wouldn’t pay back the whole sum anyway.

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  • Emma,
    There may actually be an incentive to charge only £8000… Undercutting Oxbridge may persuade middle class students who don’t qualify for as much financial support to pick Durham as a first choice.

    Reply

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