Warwick Students’ Union (SU) succeeded in preventing a tuition fee rise for the 2016/17 academic year.
In September, the University of Warwick suggested it was going to raise tuition fee by £250 per year for both incoming and returning students.
The SU’s statement on Facebook on Monday 28 November claimed: “The proposed increase mirrored similar price-hikes introduced at institutions around the country, and was entirely at the University’s own discretion.”
The statement also commented that none of the Sabbatical Officers or any student of the University were consulted with regards this decision.
The Sabbatical Officer team exerted pressure on the University and managed to halt fees from rising this academic year.
However, the SU were not able to prevent tuition fees from rising in the next academic year. First-year students arriving in October 2017 will be expected to pay the new £9,250 annual fees. This will not apply to current students.
We have to raise our fees in line with the new government regulations because it is vital that the University has the income it needs to match our increasing costs.
Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy
The SU’s statement on Facebook warned: “If allowed to go unchallenged, such actions set an alarming precedent for future years, while offering yet another stark glimpse into the creeping marketisation of Higher Education proposed by the government’s recent HE Bill.”
Over the summer the government published plans which would allow universities to increase fees to £9,250 from 2017/18.
The SU’s statement commented: “This win shows the power of students’ unions and how crucial it is that we stand up and challenge the University on these key issues.
“We have to exert pressure wherever and whenever damaging decisions are being made.”
Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy at Warwick, said: “We have to raise our fees in line with the new government regulations because it is vital that the University has the income it needs to match our increasing costs.
“This supports the long-term sustainability of the University, enables Warwick to maintain the high quality of our provision for students, and it enables us to invest in future enhancements to our campus and teaching and learning.”
This win shows the power of Students’ Unions and how crucial it is that we stand up and challenge the University on these key issues. We have to exert pressure wherever and whenever damaging decisions are being made.
Rhal Ssan, a second-year PPE student, reacted: “While I understand that it makes sense for tuition fees to rise by £250 as they have been frozen in cash terms for around 4 years now, it is yet another sign that we need a fundamental re-think of our higher education system.
“Fees are only ever going to get higher and the decision by Warwick is emblematic of this. We need radical change.”
Gemma Turner, a Sociology third-year, commented: “In general it is ridiculous that universities are increasing fees at all, but to be honest I think a one year stoppage of £250 (which, in the scheme of £9000, is nothing) doesn’t feel like a big deal.
“If the SU were going to get the rise stopped it needed to be for next year as well to have any real impact.”
When asked how the SU will try to prevent further fee rises, Luke Pilot, President of Warwick SU, responded that they will continue to raise awareness about how the marketization process and Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) will affect students.
Their main tactic will be to tackle fee rises through the National Student Survey (NSS) boycott which passed at the Term 1 All Student Meeting.
Luke warned that unless students stand up for their rights, fee increases will get worse.
He said: “We need our members to table these issues at their Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSCL), to join us in the campaigns we coordinate and show support for their fellow students and academic staff by getting involved; every student’s voice counts, and every prospective student deserves a say.”