Thinking of putting off reality for another year by applying for a masters? Think again, as costs continue to rise.
VERSA has learned that despite OUSU’s best efforts, Oxford is going to increase the fee for applying to a post-grad course. The fee change, from £60 to £75, starts in Michaelmas 2016. If this proposed plan goes ahead, Oxford will join UCL as the most expensive university in the UK to apply to for post-grad courses. This is reportedly due to the budget cuts faced by the university’s central administration. Must be so hard, with only a £4 billion endowment to draw down on.
OUSU is keen to show its disapproval of this change, citing the inevitable consequence of people being put off Oxford post grad courses. JCR presidents are being asked to sign a draft statement that will be presented to the Education Committee. The statement rejects the raise in fees as the most effective way of facing budget cuts. Maybe we could sell off some of the colonial era loot from the Ashmolean instead
Granted, it’s a relatively small amount of money in comparison to the overall fees and living costs associated with graduate study (UCAS quotes the average tution fees at £11,000 and living costs between £8,000 and £11,000) so is unlikely to directly put people off applying. But critics point out that this move is in totally the opposite direction to the university’s efforts to improve access and challenge the aloof aura of elitism surrounding it. Some universities such as Bristol and Imperial don’t charge any fee at all for application. Is squeezing an extra £75 out of potential students the only way to fund the central administration office parties?
Maybe our grand ol’ uni ought to be encouraging study here and improving access rather than putting off students with pointless fees. But we’re just the humble students who might have to shoulder these costs one day, so what do we know?