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Hidden Course Cost Campaign – #protectthepiggybank

Cassie O'Boyle SU Education Officer 2018/19 shares her new incentive to uncover the hidden extra costs that come with the university experience.

The Hidden Course Cost campaign started this Monday the 19th November with a week of focus groups, a totaliser on the SU website and a competition to win an NCT bus pass, print credits, and Amazon vouchers.

“little to no financial support for expenses incurred from placement”

The campaign was inspired by a conversation with representatives from the Vet School, who felt there was little to no financial support for expenses incurred from placement. From then, a piece of research was conducted in Summer 2018 to find out about students’ additional costs – and whether they were hidden or not.

The research highlighted what I had expected – that this was not a problem in one single faculty or school, but something that is affecting students from most disciplines. We flagged schools and departments that had particularly high additional costs, and have used that as a basis for our focus groups during this week.

“We know people are struggling more and more with their finances.”

In 2018, when students are paying fees that have reached an all-time high of £9,250 for home students, and even more for international, we know people are struggling more and more with their finances. The University should not be adding financial barriers for students to overcome and more needs to be done to tear down these barriers and make education open and accessible for everyone – regardless of background or access to financial support.

“Gather enough information to illustrate the sheer impact these costs are having.”

That is my hope for this campaign! That we can gather enough information to illustrate the sheer impact these costs are having and encourage the University to firstly, be more open and transparent to students joining the University, and secondly start to tear down some of those financial barriers that mean not all students can engage fully with their education.

Cassie O’Boyle (UON SU Education Officer)

To get involved you can input the additional/hidden costs you have had while at University here: https://www.su.nottingham.ac.uk/make-change/projects-and-campaigns/hidden-course-costs/ or e-mail me with a testimony on the impact of these costs to sueducation@nottingham.ac.uk

Image courtesy of Cassie O’Boyle.

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