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HEPI comment on Universities UK’s new guide on telling students where fees go

  • 22 October 2019
  • By Nick Hillman

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 (, 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:

The HEPI / Advance HE Student Academic Experience Survey (2019)

Where do student fees really go? Following the pound (2018)

What do I get? Ten essays on student fees, student engagement and student choice (2015)

1 comment

  1. Emilia says:

    Mr.Hilman ,I have wrote you on several occasions about an alleged fraud degree and fraud in student loan in higher education provision delivered at alternative providers,perpetrated for years .
    Everywhere, I am reading about debates about Augar’s proposal .
    I do not understand why the proposal is so controversial.Students must have the fee reduced.Why, because the value for the actual fee has been altered for quiet sometime.
    You might want to consider ‘Emilia proposal” in reducing the fee for the HND’S courses delivered by Pearson .
    DFE, OFS ,QAA are playing a blind eye for years on the fact that ,the BTEC HND’s are registered by Pearson at degree level just to get access to public money,but only on paper. In practice, the courses have nothing to do with higher education as they are non regulated old customised provisions.
    The sad news are, that within these old non regulated provision , Pearson decided to play around with Law and Engineering higher education courses.
    No wonder why,all the latest alleged frauds in GSM and Grafton College are taken place.

    It is a Ponzi scheme. Students are mislead to enrolled into these HND ‘a courses ,puting themselves to debts just to find out at the very end that the awards have no academic credentials.
    Therefore, in top of Augar proposal ,you can propose a review of HND ‘a tuition fee since the value for money is ZERO .
    The way these old customised non regulated provisions were registered as subdegree and approved for funding will raise questions about a potential coruption

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