In response to Universities UK’s new publication A Guide to Presenting Institutional Financial Information to Students, Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (www.hepi.ac.uk), said:
This is a great and overdue initiative. We have been calling for many years for students to receive more information about where their fees go, often in the face of considerable opposition.
Whether or not people like the high-fee system that we have in England and Wales, it is inevitable that it would lead to much louder demands for better information.
There are lots of reasons why it is worth giving students what they want – most importantly, it reminds students that their fees go on a wide range of university activities including counselling, the library and social areas, and not just teaching.
It will of course lead to some challenging questions about cross-subsidies but even this is nothing to fear. Most students choose to study in large multi-faculty research-active institutions for good reasons. Where cross-subsidies are hard to justify, they will now be exposed to more evidence-based debate.
Links to some of HEPI’s reports on this issue, two of which are cited in the new Universities UK guide, are below: