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Coming Clean: our Hidden Course Costs campaign

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  1. Coming Clean: our Hidden Course Costs campaign Izzy John, Welfare Officer

  2. Context of campaign • Tuition fee rise and potential impact • Arbitrary increases in PG and International Fees • NUS “Pound in your Pocket” and “Come Clean” campaign • On-going issues with SLC • General increase in students working part-time whilst studying

  3. Warwick-specific • 2010/11 – wins in terms of bursaries; however failed to meet access targets • Implementing maximum fee cap of £9000 • University desire to focus on the “student experience” • Financial costs a consistent feature of student feedback • 600 responses to NUS Survey

  4. Our priority campaign • Largely “behind the scenes” – our own data gathering and research • How much does it really cost to be a student at Warwick? Accommodation, course texts, transport, food on campus. • 4 Union policies – Action on Access; Against Tuition Fees, Hidden Course Costs, The £ in your Pocket

  5. NUS Week of Action Concept: a bit more hard hitting, visual campaign NUS online receipt totalizer and paper receipts Wrote to VC and Academic Registrar 2 AMEs “Costs cage” in central piazza Posters in SU and all halls

  6. Slogans • “I think the University should continue to invest in bursaries ” • “I think it’s unfair that I have to pay for textbooks on top of my tuition fees” • “I think there should be more means-tested support available for students whilst they’re studying” • “I think the cost of travel to compulsory placements should be included in my tuition fees” • “I think all departments should have a certain number of free printer credits for each student”

  7. Pros Cons • Very simple and low cost • Engaging and relevant • Visual (facebook) • Tied into an existing campaign as well as the week of action • Good feedback from some students • Good way to keep the ball rolling on costs issue – can function as a longstanding campaign • Timing (last week of term, everyone very tired and busy!) • Difficulty with cage • Hard to follow up on immediately afterwards • Inconsistency with receipts (types of student, duration of costs) • Some students didn’t feel it was relevant to them

  8. Outputs • To date, over 160 submissions made to our online receipt, totalling over £47,000 • 76 paper receipts filled out • About 50 letters sent to 3 different MPs • 7 MPs lobbied directly in Parliament

  9. Next steps • Inputting data (a lot of it!) and determining trends • Persuading and influencing (compare to other Universities, commitment from UUK/Guild HE) • “Come Clean” lobby / writing to MPs • OFFA Access Agreement • Anecdotal pressure points (breakfast, uni cards). Petition? • Formulating recommendations • Handover to new sabb team

  10. Questions? Comments? Your campaigns / brainstorming welfare@warwicksu.com