A Kingston University report has shown that KU students spend an average of £30 per year on printing.
The results, based on a survey of 17,647 students during the 2016/17 academic year, suggested that students spent an average of 58p per week on printing, amounting to £30.16 during a 52-week year, or £13.92 over the 24-weeks of an academic year.
George Warren, 21, a graphic design student, said: “I think printing costs are way too high especially because we already pay £9,000 per year. It is 30p for a sheet of A3 colour printing, which is ridiculous.
“I can spend anywhere from £1 to £20 per week on printing depending on what I’m working on. I try to print as little as possible because it costs so much, which is bad because it means I have to experiment less with my work.
“A couple of weeks ago I spent £15 printing out frames for an experiment that ended up not working out. I can’t afford to do that all the time.”
Kingston University said they do not make a profit from printing and that the charges cover the service costs.
Colour printing costs were slashed in half in 2017, making colour printing more affordable for KU students.
Second-year fashion student Aimee Bearne, 20, said: “I definitely spend more than 58p per week. I do an art course so I am constantly printing pictures in colour for my research folder and again for my book. I can spend anywhere between £3 to £10 every week on printing.”
Bearne thought that more could be done to reduce printing costs. She said that students should receive an allowance to make printing more affordable for students.
Kingston University switched printer suppliers from Toshiba to Konica Minolta in 2016.
It said it is continuing to work closely with Konica to monitor printer performance, prevent machine jamming and to avoid wasting paper.
Rachel Imlay, 19, a third year politics and international relations student, said: “In the entire time that I have been at university, I think I’ve spent £15 on printing because my course does not demand it.
“Printing costs are actually important because they force students to think about the materials that they are consuming. I think that if there were no printing costs then the university would become a lot less eco-friendly, considering the impact production of paper and ink have on the environment.”
The university encourages students to utilise electronic media and promotes the use of Kingston Box, a platform that allows users to store and share content, helping to keep printing to a minimum.
Kieran Hawkyard, 21, a creative writing and English literature student, said he typically spends £2 per week on printing.
“Printing costs are justifiable as long as the university don’t make a profit from it. Perhaps offer a reward scheme where free printing credits are offered to students who contribute to the university in some way.”
The university said that the Canon printers the university use now, used for poster printing, provide the most eco-friendly solution in the industry because they use toner pearls instead of ink.
A Kingston University spokesperson said: “The University continually monitors its printing costs. A recent comparison with other institutes and local suppliers confirmed the rates offered by the University are very competitive.
“The University’s policy is to purchase recycled paper from sustainable sources for all office printing in A4 and A3 sizes, as well as for materials such as brochures, where possible.
“In addition, printers on every campus are automatically set to print double-sided and in black and white to limit the amount of paper and ink used. All paper is recycled at a materials recovery facility.”