Glasgow University today announced its fee plans for students from the Rest of the United Kingdom (RUK).
Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be charged £6,750 per year, with the exception of those studying medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine who will be expected to pay £9,000 per year.
The Students’ Representative Council (GUSRC) condemned the fee increase, whilst giving recognition to the fact that the University had not opted for the maximum levels of £9,000:
GUSRC are an anti-fees organization, and we therefore condemn the fee increase at a base level, however we recognize that the position the University finds itself in is not one of its own choosing… neither the Scottish nor Westminster governments should escape the blame following the removal of the teaching grant for RUK students.
SRC President Stuart Ritchie urged the University to provide details of support packages for students from low-income households:
Further information is needed to prove that the finance packages are not merely tokenistic and that the desire to widen access remains a long term vision for the University.
The University has said it will offer significant fee waivers and further bursaries to students from low-income backgrounds. For some, this will be worth up to £12,000 over the course of a four year degree.
A £1,000 discount will be offered to RUK students who enter the University in the first year, making the total cost of a four year degree £26,000.
Glasgow University narrowly missed out on being able to claim to the lowest UK fees across the Russell Group Universities, after The London School of Economics announced a fee of £8,500 per year.
Eleanor Davies, a final year student from England said:
I’m not sure that a £1,000 fee discount would be a deciding factor, especially considering that an extra year of study would cost much more than that in terms of living costs.
The recent wave in fee rises comes after the Scottish Government lifted the £1,820 cap on RUK fees.
Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland warned that the move:
Gives principals free reign. They have been given the ability to set higher fees, yet no responsibility to protect access.
Ken McIntosh, MSP and Scottish Labour spokesman for education also condemned the fees rise at the University of Glasgow:
Poorer students who live in other parts of the UK have today been priced out of yet another Scottish institution. The SNP government must prioritize widening access to our universities to ensure access to university is based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.
Over half of RUK students will now pay £36,000 for a degree, after Edinburgh and St Andrews announced that they will charge an annual fee of £9,000 for a four year degree.