London Met aims low on fees

London Metropolitan University is to charge under £6,000 a year for many courses in 2012, bucking the trend set by other institutions that have rushed to charge £9,000 a year.

March 21, 2011

Malcolm Gillies, London Met’s vice-chancellor, told The Sunday Times he was planning a tuition-fee structure that took account of “affordability for students who will incur a real debt that they may live with for 30 years”.

He is the first vice-chancellor to announce that he intends to set course fees below the £6,000 threshold, despite the government insisting that those charging over this lower limit should be the exception rather than the rule.

So far six universities – all members of the Russell and 1994 groups of research-intensive institutions – have announced their fee levels for 2012. All have decided to charge £9,000, albeit with fee waivers and bursaries to assist poorer students.

Professor Gillies said of London Met’s approach: “We have the largest number of students from manual work and unemployed backgrounds of any university in the country, so it is an issue of social responsibility for us.

“The average [fee] will be £6,000 to £7,000, considerably higher in some [courses], considerably lower in others.”

London Met’s decision is likely to put pressure on other institutions as they decide how to pitch themselves in the new fees market. Those that have announced their intention to charge the maximum amount permissible are the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Exeter, Durham and Surrey, plus Imperial College London.

Professor Gillies said that the rush to charge higher fees suggested that “there has not been a really serious attempt to see how you might reduce costs in the interests of affordability for the student”.

As Times Higher Education reported earlier this month, London Met plans substantial reductions to the number of courses it offers from 2012-13.

It is also continuing to pay back tens of millions of pounds to the Higher Education Funding Council for England after financial mismanagement by the institution’s previous administration.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck