Fees news

Since it opened the OU has charged fees, often different rates for different students. In the context of other universities charging fees (see here) on 19th July the OU announced that the fee level for new students in England starting their studies on or after 1 September 2012 is to be £5,000 per full-time equivalent study year (120 credits). In Wales, the cost incurred by OU students is likely to be lower than in England as a result of additional support from the Welsh Government. In Northern Ireland, there is yet to be a decision on future fees.

The OU expects fees in Scotland to be similar to those published for 2011/12. In general across Scotland there are no tuition fee to undergraduates at conventional universities as higher education is funded out of general taxation. Under European law Scottish universities must admit students from other EU countries on exactly the same basis. However, that rule does not apply to the English. Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will pay £9,000 a year as Scotland is entitled to discriminate against its own nationals. However, it is not permitted for an EU Member State to discriminate against nationals of another Member State, and so students from Latvia will study for free. OU students, like others will pay a different fee depending on where they live.

Is this part of a trend which can be seen as part of the mainstreaming of the OU?

You can find out more about the change in fees and what it means for current and new students, and employers and partners, on a new Fees 2012 section on the OU’s website.

2 Responses to “Fees news”

  1. John Bennett Says:

    As I understand it, the current fee for a 60 point module such as DD101 is £700, so the new fee level of £2,500 for a 60 point module would seem to represent an increase of 357%.

    Talk about shooting oneself in the foot. Who on earth is going to want to pay that much for a distance education course? We are going to lose many if not all of our traditional older students who study for self development, or to learn new skills.

    I know £5,000 for 120 points is cheaper than the fees charged by conventional universities, but the OU is not conventional at all, and it certainly does not offer the same social experience as an institution one has to attend.

    Please reconsider the fee level as a matter of urgency.

  2. D Weinbren Says:

    The setting of fees at above inflation levels is not new. Fees rose by about 70% in real terms over the 1980s from £20 for a full credit undergraduate course (that is a 60 point module) in 1971 to £55 in 1979 and £202 by 1990. Fees for students not studying for a degree, associate students, were set at £360 in 1990.

    In 1990 fee income covered about 16.5% of the costs of the undergraduate programme, or 22.5% if summer school fees and other income was included. In 1980 the comparable figures were 9% and 13.5%.At that time the cost of a degree was calculated as being over £2,000 for six credits and £,3,000 for the eight credits needed for honours.

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