Students burned on re-entry to high fees world

Costs of failure increase for first years

February 7, 2013

Fifty-five students who started university before the introduction of higher tuition fees are being charged the new rate after failing their first year and having to reapply.

The students hail from 10 universities and in most cases had to re- register because they had failed to achieve minimum course requirements and were applying to different programmes.

At Liverpool John Moores University, 14 undergraduates who failed modules in their first year are now paying £9,000 a year after re-registering in 2012-13.

The university said it did not hold records of exactly why these students had been put on the new fee structure. But it clarified that this “generally” occurs when a student “starts to fail a number of modules” and decides “to withdraw completely and reapply the following year”.

At the University of Glamorgan, 11 students failed to achieve the minimum requirements needed to repeat the first year and so had to apply again to a different course. The university said that if the students had not failed their first year they would have been able to transfer to another course without incurring the new fees.

A similar rule at the University of Derby meant that seven students there are paying higher fees.

In addition, 10 students have had to restart their courses under the new fee regime at King’s College London, four at Bucks New University, two at Swansea University, six at the University of Sunderland and one at Middlesex University.

At all the institutions except Derby, the vast majority of students who failed their first year have been allowed to retake it rather than having to reapply under the new regime.

The data were obtained by a Freedom of Information request sent to all UK universities by Times Higher Education. No other universities that responded had any record of students having to re-register in 2012-13, thus incurring higher fees.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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