NUS Totum

Cut the Costs

A survey of Warwick students in 2016/17 found that over 60% of students had experienced costs that they expected to be covered by the University during their time of study.
  • 68% had paid for core textbooks
  • 64% had paid for additional textbooks
  • 89% had paid for printing
  • 35% had paid for lecture notes
  • 18% had paid for site visits or trips
  • 12% had paid for dissertation binding
  • 19% had paid for medical certificates

The SU believes that education should be more accessible and affordable, and called on the University to reduce additional course costs incurred by students. When costs are incurred, the University should actively publish these in a transparent manner, regularly updating them.

The SU submitted a paper on behalf of students to the Academic Quality and Standards Committee detailing the findings of the survey, and worked to establish a joint Course Costs Working Group. As a result of work with that group, all departments must now fill out a central form relating to the costs associated with both their courses and modules. They must detail what counts as mandatory (you can’t complete the learning objectives without these items) and what is optional but recommended (for example, a field trip or a study abroad opportunity). They detail what can be provided by the department, or whether any items can be sourced alternatively (e.g. borrowed from the library), and estimate the cost associated with each item.

This information will be provided to students online, giving greater transparency about course costs. It will also allow us to analyse the range of provision given by different departments, and how consistent provision is. The group will look at principles of what should and shouldn’t be provided by departments, and how we can support students who are unable to meet extra costs.

How can I get involved?

Have you had to pay a course cost which you think should have been covered by the University? Let us know with the hashtag #WarwickCourseCosts!

For SSLC reps...

Use our course costs survey template to create your own survey for coursemates on their experiences relating to course costs. Send the results to education@warwicksu.com to be included in the SU's work on cutting course costs.