As a student, and throughout my time in education since the government announced the £3,000 increase in student fees (and the additional £250 for most institutions), I have always wondered where my £9,250 actually goes. It is important to note for any non-UK readers that this money (thankfully) doesn’t come out of my own pocket, it comes out of the governments’. However, I do pay this back through a “graduate contribution scheme” where part of my paycheck every month goes straight to the government. The average ‘debt’ of a graduate in 2017 was roughly £50,000 after the already high-interest rate was raised. This ‘debt’ consists mainly of your student fees of £9,250 a year and up to £8,700 in maintenance loan - what the government give to you to pay your rent and eat with, and the amount will change depending on things like your family income.
But where does it go? It is automatically assumed that your fees will go to the cost of your lectures, seminars and workshops, exam entries (surprisingly, these aren’t free!), and the cost of your actual course. Some people believe that tuition fees should be lowered if your course doesn’t cost as much (for example English students should pay less than Geography students who may go on a lot of trips abroad) and this is something quite highly debated at the minute. But whether you agree with this or not, there are a lot of other things your tuition may actually go towards that you might not think of.
If you are concerned about what your tuition fee goes towards for any particular university that you are studying at or thinking of studying at, the best place to check is their website. Most universities have this information published, though you may have to search a bit. If you still can’t find it, definitely email or phone the university and hopefully they would be happy to help you.
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