Students face £500 tuition fees increase

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STUDENTS at Sheffield Hallam University will have to pay the maximum £9,000 for their tuition fees from next year, an increase of £500.

The university has chosen to set the top amount for full-time undergraduate courses from September 2013, up from the £8,500 fees which come into effect in three months’ time.

In an email to staff, seen by The Star, vice chancellor Prof Philip Jones said the rate of inflation would have taken the fees to £9,000 in two years’ time, but university chiefs had decided to increase them in advance.

But a worker said he was concerned the £500 rise would impact heavily on students in Sheffield.

He added he was worried there would be a lack of choice for students in the city, as Sheffield University is also charging £9,000 from this September.

Hallam was ranked 65th in The Guardian’s 2012 University Guide, 32 places below Sheffield University.

“I think it’s about the university wanting to make more profit,” said the lecturer, who didn’t want to be named.

“If students are paying top-drawer prices you want a service that’s going to reflect that.

“They’ve brought it in a lot sooner than they were going to do, it’s still quite a lot of money for people to pay. It does leave a lot to be desired.”

Deputy vice chancellor Prof Cliff Allan confirmed the fee rise, saying: “The increase includes an adjustment for inflation and puts us in line with comparative universities.

“The rise in fee level between 2012 and 2013 will result in marginal differences in the loan amounts which graduates will then have to repay when they are earning salaries over £21,000.

“The fee level for 2013 is still subject to approval by the Office for Fair Access, which approves the fees for all universities across the country.”

He added: “Sheffield Hallam continues to invest in facilities and activities to provide a high quality experience for our students, particularly to ensure good graduate employment prospects and a good return on students’ investment in their futures.”