NUS may fight for free resits

December 29, 1995

The National Union of Students is to consider launching a national campaign to abolish resit fees following a victory by Strathclyde University's students association.

Strathclyde, which generates more than Pounds 80,000 annually from resit fees, agreed to waive the charge after student president Liam McMonagle argued at the university court that financially hard-pressed students were being forced to pay fees at a time of year when they received no grants.

Jim Murphy, president of NUS, said fees for resits were widespread and were likely to be discussed at the union's national executive in January. It would be an excellent New Year resolution for institutions to listen to students, he said.

Strathclyde's resit fees are Pounds 10 per credit to a maximum of Pounds 60, but these apply only at the city centre campus, while the education faculty, the former Jordanhill College of Education, makes no charge. A heated general meeting of 400 students, the first quorate meeting for 12 years, complained about the inequity.

Peter West, the university secretary, said: "This was definitely an attempt on our part to help alleviate hardship. We decided we just could not sustain this charge any longer, and the right thing to do was abolish it and absorb the cost."

Mr McMonagle said abolishing the fees would not reduce students' incentive to pass exams, since failure meant having to study in the summer with the loss of potential income, travel expenses to the university, and a blot on their academic record.

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