Durham students get billed 5p a page

Some 500 students at the University of Durham protested this week against increases in course costs that will continue to hit those from poorer families hardest.

Whereas tuition fees are means-tested, all students are charged course costs regardless of their ability to pay. The university has slashed the number of coursework pages it allows each student to print for free, charging them 5p per sheet once the 200-page allowance has been reached.

The university also plans to increase the college residency charge by an inflation-busting 5 per cent next year.

David Ellams, joint president of Durham Students' Union, said: "We object to the way in which costs are being transferred to the student. Universities are charging by the back door - it's the same principle as top-up fees."

Cuts in government funding per student mean that there are proportionally fewer books in the library than previously, according to Mr Ellams. The costs fall on the students, who are forced to buy their own copies of textbooks or to pay to photocopy relevant chapters.

Similarly, academic departments used to allow lecturers to photocopy lecture notes for students. Now such information is put on the web and if a student prints it out, the printing is charged to the student's account.

A university spokesman said: "We don't feel that sharing the costs of printing with students is unreasonable.

"It illustrates how the university is trying to maintain standards on a tight budget and, in order to keep going, we have to pass on some costs to the students. The University of Durham is not alone in doing that."

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Featured Jobs

Academic Partnership Manager LONDON SOUTH BANK UNIVERSITY

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Universities to scale back liberal arts and social science courses

  • David Humphries illustration (24 September 2015)

A Russell Group tagline rap is further proof that we need to reform the academy’s approach, argues Philip Moriarty

  • World University Rankings

US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game

  • World University Rankings 2015-2016 methodology

Change for the better: fuelled by more comprehensive data, the 2015-2016 rankings probe deeper than ever

Inspired by previous movement in 1960s, PhD students say that ‘science is not neutral’ and urge scientists to confront their assumptions