University of Southampton to charge £9,000 tuition fees

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It has been revealed that the University of Southampton intends to charge £9,000 for tuition fees from September 2012, the maximum allowed under the new government policies on higher education.

The announcement of the new fees is due to be officially made tomorrow (April 12th), with the University claiming that the increase in tuition fees “is necessary to secure the University’s future following the government funding cuts‚ and to enable us to continue investing in the high–class facilities and academic opportunities we offer our students.”

Southampton is the 32nd higher education establishment to confirm the maximum tuition fee level according to the BBC, with fellow Russell Group universities Birmingham, Leeds and Warwick also in the group. The increase, like any other, is subject to the approval of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

The University’s press release continues by claiming that “21 per cent of our new undergraduate students will receive a fee waiver, reducing their fee costs to the minimum of £6,000 for each year of their degree. Another 15 per cent of our undergraduates will receive some form of financial assistance.”

The full press release, including additional details on student entitlements, can be found here. More to follow.

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Discussion39 Comments

  1. avatar

    No surprise there!

    Andre Pusey
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    It was fairly widely predicted that Southampton would charge the full £9k, yes. It’s a shame, though, as if they’d put it down maybe even just £500 they would have attracted a much wider range of students. Although the whole of the Russell Group are charging this by the looks of it, so maybe it doesn’t matter!

    Willy
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    Are you telling me that people would choose to come to Southampton if the total fee liaibility they had to pay back AFTER graduating was £25,500 rather than £27,000?

    For a student on a typical graduate salary (£26,000) you will be paying back £37.50 a month.

    By the time you have benefited fully from the investment in our education the likelihood is that you are talking about one or two months extra payments… honestly someone show me the empirical evidence that this is an actual disincentive rather than some popular myth peddled by naive, ill-informed students who will never be subject to the full fee.

    Furthermore if you read the information fully you will see that students from the poorest background are only liable for a £6000 fee, so your argument is moot anyway.

    How can people decide not to come to University based on a monthly repayment of £37.50 for the best 3/4 years of your life let’s get some perspective here….

    Sasha Watson
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    Willy you seem to fail to grasp the fact that its still £27k of debt.
    Yes, its less per month – but itl therefore be for a MUCH longer period of time. Those on £30k will never pay of the debt, because they can’t pay it off earlier. So thats a £40 tax for the rest of someones working career (well, 30 years). Whilst students now will pay £80 per month, it’l be paid off a lot sooner, so people can max out their earnings by having their degree.

    To you that may seem like nothing, because its worth the experience – to those who are going to University in 2012, its a MASSIVE deal. Most people our age and younger dont understand debt – so for those who are younger, itl be a massive put-off for them – especially those who are the first to go to University.

    Willy
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    Maybe we should spend out time educating prospective students about graduate “debt” which is in fact a tax by another name…

    If the government raised the basic amount of tax by 1% we wouldn’t see half the hysteria that we are witnessing about student graduate tax payments.

    I point out again that a student graduating today and earning an average graduate wage of £26,000 will pay back £82.50 a month in graduate tax (student loan repayments)

    A graduate in 2015 will pay back £32.50 a month all things being equal….

    Facts are what are needed in this debate not empty rhetoric and scaremongering. The future students of this University, the ones that you represent Sasha, will be paying less in repayments per month than you will!

    Anyone bothering to tell the students who are being “put off” by their supposedly better educated elders that this is the case…

    I thought not

    Sasha Watson
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    They will be paying less a month, for for a longer period of time – hence paying more. And actually – the average graduate earner is on £32k a year, with the uk average £25k, so they wont be paying £37.50 a month as you put it, but £82.50. A simple google of the BBC shows that this can mean students pay up to £85k in debt over a life time.

    On the flip side, the average student now will pay more than the £82.50 a month (£127.50), because were using the £32k value – but with debt at £20k and interest at a minimal level, it will be a much lower pay off, and much quicker. I’d put a value at £40k tops, saving £45k in comparison to the new levels.

    Willetts says graduates will earn £100k more than non-grads over a lifetime – this new system almost makes that HAVE to be the norm. It’s why SUSU is against the fee rise, it’s why I’m against the fee rise, and it’s why I’m going to be fighting the University for making it damn well worth people’s while next year.

    confused graduate
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    I’m sorry both of you but where are these £25k average graduate jobs. I don’t know a single graduate earning more than £20k. Is this average earnings just for recent graduates or do the figures include people who graduate 30 years ago and are at the top of their industries.

    It’s kinda important because given the appalling graduate job market these students paying £9k are probably going to be competing for £18k jobs not £25k.

    In fact most graduates I know are doing a masters or traveling because there aren’t any jobs out there for them.

    Sasha Watson
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    I understand that and agree about the jobs – Im one of those who decided to do a masters – and I know many who graduated in my 3rd year who are just off and about. The jobs are half there, but i wont pretend its not very competitive and most are off the beaten track, but then thats the supposed recession for you. That said, I dont think a graduate can ever expect to be able to “walk into a job”, I dont think its ever been that easy. Persistence will pay off in the end, and better advertising of smaller companies

    Willy
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    Average Gradaute Salary data here

    From prospects.ac.uk
    http://tinyurl.com/2vje4sx

    From HESA
    http://tinyurl.com/3alsmcs

    The HESA one is interesting because it indicates that most students would actually below the threshold and therefore would pay nothing in their first year of employment.

    In any case there is a fundamental question you should ask yourself?

    Should the wider society pay for free Higher Education for all through Higher taxes or,
    Should the graduates that benefit directly from going to University through higher wages and greater social mobility pay a higher proportion of the cost through higher taxation once they graduate?

    I am in agreement with the latter.

    The important point is that graduates pay higher TAX once they graduate and are in better paid jobs.

  2. avatar

    In Germany you pay 60€ per semester…

    I wouldn’t do my MSc in Soton uni if I have to pay 9k£

    Andreas Day
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    If the post-grad fees are the same, then UK will no longer be an option on my behalf. I’m sure even plenty of British monoglots will make the decision to leave the country, seeing as so many European universities in close proximity offer fantastic English-taught courses.

    Sasha Watson
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    Post Grad fees next year are going to be £4500, so already £1000 more than UG fees for next year.

    Im going to guess 2012/13 will be around £10.5k for a Masters

    Andreas Day
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    Unless a UK uni can provide unparalleled quality for Masters degrees in students’ respective areas, then it makes no sense to stay in this country with that price.

  3. avatar

    So those of us who are here to 2013/2014 will we be paying the full £9k after 2012? Or will it be capped at ~£3K for current students and those enrolling from 2012 will only have to pay the full amount?
    The press statement is a bit unclear.

    Sasha Watson
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    it only affects those starting in 2012/13, similarly you wont get the student entitlement.

  4. avatar

    Interesting point – the press release talks about the student entitlement. I was involved in the discussions of what it should include, or how much it should be – we were talking about £400 for each student.

    We were also told Soton would probably not quite be charging £9k, so why is it the student entitlement has gone down, but the fee is up?…

    Ollie Woods
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    Most likely they saw such universities as South Bank etc charging close to full whack and thought “Well, if they can get away with it…”.

    No surprises but still appalled. Theres no way I’d have been able to afford university if I was four years younger.

    Willy
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    Really you can’t afford £37.50 a month after your graduate when you are earning £26,000….

    Really….!?!

    Actually YOU will be paying £82.50 a month more than double the new repayment rate…

    Think about the scheme before you write ignorant comments… all you end up accomplishing is unnecessarily scaremongering capable students from attending University, with your ill informed rhetoric on higher fees.

    Ollie Woods
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    Ok, I couldve phrased what I meant better but still, no need for that.

    What I meant is I come from a family that, due to illness and bereavement, earns 5.5k a year. Surely having to pay 3.5k a year more than my mum earns would put me off?! Which is hardly fair given that I worked hard to get here and universities are meant to be opening up to those of us in poorer families.

    I’ll just shut up now. Thank you.

    Willy
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    There is a need for it!

    Your comments are irresponsible you give the impression that University is not affordable which is untrue.

    You end up paying a higher TAX for longer… so what?! You only pay when you can afford to do so

    I don’t want to sit idly by when scaremongering may result in one capable student not applying to come to university because of a “fear of debt” which is completely unjustified.

    confused graduate
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    Where are these £26k jobs ? Where are your facts and figures to back up this number you’ve seemingly plucked from thin air ?

    People might be able to afford Uni as they only have to pay the money back after graduating but take into account that every student will most likely have a maintenance loan on top of their fees so we’re talking at least £3k for living on top of £9k for fees a year. so £36k over 3 years at Uni.

    GIven how few graduate jobs there seem to be out there how long will these new students be paying off their debt for ?

    J-Fox
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    I know you said in an earlier comment that you dont know many graduates earning a lot, but it does depend on what degree you have and what industry you’re entering in.
    many science based industries offer very very good rates for graduates and most of the jobs i’ve been applying for have been within the range of £20 – £35 k.

    on the other hand, many people cannot get jobs because the job market is so difficult and i think that when our students end up working in very menial jobs despite being highly qualified, its then that paying back even £38 a month becomes very difficult even for the best of us.
    And in response to Willy, any bills every month is difficult. I don’t come from a very well off family either, and to send 4 kids to uni, nearly all at the same time is going to be impossible for my parents. my sister just wont be able to afford uni!!

    Willy
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    I cam from a single parent family who had no money.

    My mother couldn’t afford to give me anything… I managed to get through Uni by working part-time during term time and working in a restaurant full-time during the holidays.

    Your parents income should not dictate whether you can come to Uni or not. Amazingly when you consider that you get given money to come to Uni which you pay back AFTER you graduate it not surprising that 100 of thousands of students manage to “fund” their studies. To suggest otherwise is again irresponsible.

    GRADUATES pay TAX, not parents, not students!

    J-Fox
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    BUT, some student’s cannot work, or have very busy degrees so don’t have the time to. without my parents helping me out, i couldnt afford to live at uni.
    its all well and good saying that the individual takes on the debt but as an individuals mentality, thats not how a LOT of people see it,

    im not ignorant or irresponsible by thinking these thoughts, many people think this way or have it happen to them. The high expenses of education, the living expenses, the tax and paying back of the loans when graduating when not having a very good job DOES put people off going to uni. so increasing these factors will deter more people still..
    its just a major concern really. what we should be getting worried about is how the university can now guarantee to students that they’re getting their money’s worth…

  5. avatar

    This is perfect opportunity for WS to get together and live blog the days reaction to this by following twitter, facebook, press statements, getting interviews and voxpops from lecturers and university staff.

    There should be a live blog here with 3/4 contributors throughout the day.

    Come on WS, big chance here.

    Mike Fisher
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    Though that does require some soton-based writers. Who’s around?

    Andre Pusey
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    I’m here, but I doubt I’d have time to do a lot.

    Daniel Webb
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    I wouldn’t say that is necessary at all, maybe someone could put a feature up about the reaction to it, but I don’t think a liveblog is in anyway logical. Unfortunately, I know a lot of our team who are third years and second years simply have to much work to do. That and the fact this is barely news, we have known this would be the result for ages, sadly.

  6. avatar

    I actually think prospective Southampton students will be getting a good deal (not as good as 3k!) but considering other Universities such as Portsmouth where they only get a 2k decrease in the first year only – a potential 3k decrease in 3 years and then a tapered system seems fairer than most.

  7. avatar

    I think the question is will the education you get be worth 9k?
    If it is similar to the current level then in my opinion no, I think 3k is a good amount for what the university gives you. A simple way of looking at it is that what you gain from uni (when paying 9k), would have to be 3 times better than what we take from it today. Therefore will a degree from southampton be worth it? No, probably not…but if you do want to have a good time and have the money to burn…go for it.

    Andre Pusey
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    But how could any university provide education which is three times better than it was the previous year?! They definitely could not, but Southampton is a prime example of a uni which can improve a LOT.

    Willy
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    What would you expect the University to do….?

    The Tory-led government has cut 80% of funding to Higher Education. That money used to come from tax payers. What the Tories have said is you can now make up for that lost funding by charging higher fees that we will then collect as a tax from graduates once they graduate.

    Its not as though Uni bosses were sitting there one day and thought f^&k it I don’t £3k is enough why don’t we whop up fees to £9k and see if the f£$ckers will still pay?

    The GOVERNMENT slashed University funding they had no choice!

    David Gilani
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    You say that the the government had no choice to cut University funding, but I don’t entirely understand their situation.

    Surely it’s the government and the bank of England that loans out money to Student finance. So, for 2012-2013, the government is going to have to pay out near 3 times as much to fund the student loans.

    It’s true that in the long term (30 years, once students have paid back their loans), the government will have saved money; HOWEVER, in the short term (which is when we have this economical crisis), the government is NOT saving any money!

    So why did they NEED to do this?

  8. avatar

    The degrees cost roughly 9k per year anyway, it’s just that they’re reducing the burden on tax payers so they can divert that tax money to other areas i.e. they’re prioritizing healthcare and policing over Uni fees. It’s disingenuous to argue that “they should make the degree worth 9k” as if the people of this country OWE you a University education. As stated, the loan only has to be paid back once you’re earning a certain amount, and provisions has been made to lessen the impact on students from lower income families. I sincerely don’t understand why this has been left out of the wider debate on student fees.

    As a side note, the idea of doing a Masters because there aren’t any graduate jobs out there is a bit rich. “Ooh, not enough earning opportunities. I know, getting myself into more debt (which I won’t stop complaining about) is the way to fix it!”

    Uni is a choice you make, and the long term prospects are in my opinion, worth it. Overseas students pay a lot more than us anyway (for exactly the same degree) and this is never complained about. I’ve also heard that in America (which has the highest Uni fees in the world), they have the highest amount of school leavers attending University in the world. I don’t have a source for this yet but it’s worth thinking about. People need to start seeing Uni as an investment in their future and not the natural progression from A Levels that should be open to anyone regardless of their ability.

    Sasha Watson
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    in brief…
    1) As David says a few bits up, the Government is actually losing money short term – £1bn in fact – because they cannot afford to pay the loans, seeing as they thought the average fee would be £7500 and its clearly not.
    2) Society gains from students having degrees – students become the doctors, nurses, managers, inventors, researchers and higher tax bracket of society. By having a degree, they give to society a lot more anyway through their services – let alone their tax. Its because of this that a lot of people think its unfair to burden the whole cost of a degree on someone.
    3) Overseas students do not. The whole of Europe pays much less – its only in the US that you can be duped into paying $20k fees a year, but they get a hell of an education for it. So to those aruging for a £9k worth degree, its fair play.

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