Kingston University has announced it will charge students £8,500 for a degree

Kingston announce £8,500 fees


Kingston students received an email during the Easter break, informing them that from 2012 the university will charge new students £8,500 per year.


This means that the university will be charging only slightly less than the maximum £9,000 fees agreed by MPs in December last year. Kingston will have to clear their proposed rates with the Office For Fair Access (OFFA), but the move is indicative of rises in education costs across the country.


Out of 83 universities to have released prices for 2012, only 26 will be charging less than £9,000. Some have argued that funding cuts have forced fees up, with others claiming that to charge less than their competitors will imply that their degree is somehow inferior.


Julius Weinberg, Kingston’s Vice Chancellor, told students: “Kingston has been well managed and we have some savings. However we need to hold onto these savings to protect and prepare Kingston University for the future.”


After the initial findings of the Browne report, and the raising of the cap on university fees, Kingston saw a jump in applications for 2011 entry. There is concern that if prices are set too high, there will be a corresponding slump from 2012 onwards, as potential students look elsewhere.


The Vice Chancellor attempted to assuage these fears, saying the university had “taken steps to lessen the impact”, with more support for low income students to include a “new Kingston scholarship scheme”. He concluded: “It will still be very worthwhile to do a degree at Kingston University.”


Leaders of the union Unite have also called for an investigation into possible collusion between universities, which they say may have led to across the board tuition fee rises.


Mike Robinson, of Unite, told a government committee “The number of institutions that are going at the £9,000 level we don’t think is an accident, we think it is deliberate. Whether it’s planned between them is our concern and we think that is something that you need to look at.”

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5 comments

  1. Will current students be inpacted by the fee increase I wonder? If you are finishing your first year or second year, are you suddenly expected to take into account this massive increase in order to make your time and money and effort so far worth anything at all?

    • Peter Johnstone

      No. The fee increase comes into effect from 2012 and will affect only new students. Current students should continue to pay the same rate as they are already.

  2. I’m not against the £9,000 cap in general. But I think that a university’s fees should reflect it’s standing. The top universities – Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, etc – are the ones that should be charging the maximum. In my opinion, £9,000 a year to go to those universities is excellent value for money. I’m sorry to say, however, that Kingston University can barely, in my experience, justify the current fees of £3,000. Quike frankly, £8,500 a year to attend KU is a joke. You wouldn’t spend the same amount for a Primark suit as you would for an Armani one would you? We are Primark, and pretending otherwise doesn’t make it so.

    • Dr Howard Fredrics

      With the withdrawal of funding by the government for Kingston’s teaching grant, there’s no way the University could survive without increasing fees, though I can’t comment on exactly what those fees would need to be to balance the books. What “Anonymous” above is suggesting would mean that lower standing universities would close, leaving only the better quality institutions, which could, as a matter of value for money, justify charging the maximum fee of £9000.

      In such a scenario, the only alternative would be to raise taxes to support higher education so that lesser institutions, such as Kingston, could continue to operate in the service of less qualified students than those enrolled at, say, Oxford or Cambridge. The question remains, is Britain (especially, the rich) willing to pony up a bit more in taxes so that the bottom rungs of the academic ladder can attend university? Or would Britain be better off limiting HE to those who can most clearly benefit from the experience of study at the highest standard?

    • Dr Howard Fredrics

      With the withdrawal of funding by the government for Kingston’s teaching grant, there’s no way the University could survive without increasing fees, though I can’t comment on exactly what those fees would need to be to balance the books. What “Anonymous” above is suggesting would mean that lower standing universities would close, leaving only the better quality institutions, which could, as a matter of value for money, justify charging the maximum fee of £9000.

      In such a scenario, the only alternative would be to raise taxes to support higher education so that lesser institutions, such as Kingston, could continue to operate in the service of less qualified students than those enrolled at, say, Oxford or Cambridge. The question remains, is Britain (especially, the rich) willing to pony up a bit more in taxes so that the bottom rungs of the academic ladder can attend university? Or would Britain be better off limiting HE to those who can most clearly benefit from the experience of study at the highest standard?

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