Student Guides

This Is Everything Your Tuition Fees Are Spent On

It’s only fair that you know.

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There’s few words derogatory enough to describe the horror that is a student loan, especially if you study in a country where fees have faced astronomical rises.

Obviously the UK and the US are the main offenders when it comes to insane fees associated with further studies. US students pay an average $25,620 for studying at a state college, whilst the UK enjoys the privilege of shelling out on average £9,188.

It’s an eye-watering amount of cash, especially given that society relies pretty heavily on young people continuing to shell out such high amounts.

It’s no surprise then that students want the system to at least be transparent, so they know why they’re being left poor every month.


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Research by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has shed some light on this. Save the Student shared findings from the research, here are a few of the key findings:

  • Around 45% of funds generated from a student’s annual tuition fee in England is currently spent on the cost of teaching.
  • Around 20% of funds are currently spent on management staff, recruitment of students, advertising or community work – despite less than 20% of students believing this should be how the money is spent.

A more in-depth example was given using a breakdown of spending by Nottingham Trent University.

  • Professional services, marketing, finance and the vice-chancellor’s pay: 8%
  • Academic staff, course equipment and staff-related costs: 39%
  • Buildings, libraries, IT, sports, careers, admissions, staff, administration and widening access to poorer applicants: 36%
  • Enhancing teaching, research infrastructure and the student experience: 17%

Universities are under more intense pressure than ever to ensure students are getting their money’s worth. Despite this according to the Office of National Statistics, 49% of recent graduates were not working in graduate-level jobs in 2017.

To tackle to the problem a review of education funding is currently underway. This aims to examine how the government can redesign university tuition fees and student loans – with findings expected to be published early this year.

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