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Briefing on the fee setting process at Universities

We are aware that one of the biggest issues that HE students’ unions are facing at the moment relates to setting of fees level discussions that are taking place inside your institutions.  You will remember that on 24th January Usman sent over some initial points about the key questions that students’ unions could use to guide their thinking on this issue.  Today we are sending out some further guidance for Unions on this issue in a briefing note which can be found here: Briefing_Note_on_University_Fee_Setting_Discussions

NUS remains committed to its principled opposition to fees, however we must also provide support to our members when they are faced with difficult local dilemma’s.  We believe that students’ unions face a difficult choice right now, do they continue to campaign against the rise in fees and as such refuse to participate in debates or discussions at a local level about fee setting, or do they involve themselves in that debate and attempt to secure the ‘best worst’ option for future students.  We all know that these decisions are hard, and so we have produced the briefing note (above) in good faith and the desire to support those who wish to enter into those difficult discussions.

As this is an important issue we urge you to take this discussion to your members, to use your structures to secure a clear mandate so that you know that you are representing the will of your membership and that students on campus stand behind the demands that you make.

For those of you who want to engage in the debate about fee levels but are currently out in the cold, demand now that you are part of these discussions.  You have a right to speak and to be heard.

We know that some of you have asked for detailed advice and specific guidance, and we want to meet this demand but we know that a ‘one size fits all briefing’ will let most of you down.  So, if you do want advice and support please do get in touch.  You can of course contact either of us, however we have ensured that there is expert staff resource dedicated to providing bespoke advice on this issue so do just get in touch with the following:

Jim Dickinson – Director of Campaigns and Strategy: jim@nus.org.uk

Graeme Wise – Political Officer: Graeme.wise@nus.org.uk

They will ensure that they provide support and guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Later this week we expect the Government to make further announcements on the regulation of fees and funding and outline the circumstances in which HEIs will be allowed to charge higher fees – we will be issuing further advice and guidance following this announcement and will be back in touch with any further advice that we can.

Do get back to us with your specific questions so that we can help and support.

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