Membership fees for University society and sports clubs across the country are rapidly rising, despite the rise in University fees.
Exeter was pointed out to be among the most expensive universities, with the Men’s Rugby club charging £220 membership. At Durham, membership to the Debating society costs a considerable £55, whilst at Cambridge, despite discounts for some students, life membership to the Student Union Society stands at a towering £185. A rise of more than fifty per cent over the last five years.
The report also highlighted great disparity between different universities for membership to relatively similar sports clubs and societies. Leeds University’s charge of £142 for performance swimming squad membership for instance, inclusive of the £72 charge for facility access, stands at some five times greater than the £28 membership fee the University of East London charges.
At the University of Nottingham, societies and sport clubs cited that fee structures had been either frozen, increased slightly, or were still being decided upon. The Ladies Rugby clubs charge of £25 remains the same this year for instance, as does the Ladies Lacrosse team.
The lacrosse team added that they were considering lowering their membership fee of £35 for the 2013/14 academic year, however the addition of a 3rd team had increased costs, so the fee remains the same.
Any increases made to memberships were justified by societies and sports clubs as providing investment to accommodate expansion and funding for more events and equipment.