NUS has launched a new campaign initiative to kick start grassroots actions to get more money into students’ pockets by tackling hidden course costs.
We’ve found that no matter what subject or at what level students study, they are still facing extra costs; costs that for the most part they knew nothing about. These are costs which are contributing to financial problems and drop outs, and costs which we need institutions to Come Clean about. It’s simply not good enough that students are landed with unexpected professional association joining and exam fees, that placement students have to dish out extra cash to travel to their placements, or that 'optional' field trips rule out poor students.
We are therefore calling on universities and colleges to commit to full transparency prior to application on all course costs, commit to absorb essential costs within the tuition fee, and offer means tested support for non-essentials.
The Hidden Costs toolkit is designed to help students' unions win on hidden costs. It includes a campaign guide, stickers and receipts for students to fill out demonstrating how much they have spent in extra course costs.
Have now released an embeddable web-application which students' unions can put on their website, which will collect information about the costs your members face. It will show live on your website just how much your members are spending and on what. This will be a powerful tool when lobbying your institution, and when supporting your class and course reps.
Hidden Costs is a strand of NUS’ broader Come Clean campaign which calls on the government and institutions to come clean on student funding. The campaign incorporates a week of action (Monday 12- Friday 16 March), national student walkout (Wednesday 14 March) and lobby of Parliament (Wednesday 18 April).