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Kent Union policy win helps students save money

Kent Union policy win helps students save money

Photo by: Chris Isherwood | Flickr

After vigorously campaigning for three years, the University of Kent have finally approved a new policy that will force module convenors to notify students of any extra costs for their course at the earliest possible date.

Named the ‘Programmes of Study: Costs to Students‘ policy, students will no longer have to wait until the first lecture of their course to be told that they have to pay out extra money for events, books, etc. that are vital to passing their modules.

Currently, creative courses like Drama and History of Art, where students are expected to pay to attend exhibitions and theatre shows in order to complete their work for their module, don’t tell students until the opening lecture, or when the module convenor releases the Moodle page, how much the module is going to cost them. It’s clear Kent Union’s achievement in getting the policy passed will definitely help some students be able to save for some of the more costly modules such as Theatre and Journalism, which last year required students to fork out £60 on theatre tickets as a compulsory part of the module.

Included in this, the policy suggests that most high-cost modules should provide a “no-cost” option of the module, where students can opt out of paying for the expensive compulsory parts; if not the University will be obliged to help support them through the “Access to Learning Fund”.

As well as having to notify students of extra costs, the policy also insists that “mandatory printing for modules should always be covered by the School”, meaning print credits will be provided to students. As printing costs 5p per black and white sheet, the policy will save some students a lot of money when it comes to having to print seminar task sheets, necessary reading, etc.

Speaking to Kent Union, Jack Lay, Vice-President (Education), said: “This was one of my manifesto pledges when I was running for election and it is great news for us. It is a campaign we felt strongly about, as it will be beneficial to all students.

“It is important that students are aware of any extra costs they may face, like buying required text books, as it allows them to budget at the start of each term.”

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