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We all know there is something wrong with cost of studying at LSE. Not just the cost of being a student in London, and the lack of financial support available to us, but the actual fees just to study here.
For international students, in just ten years the cost of studying an undergraduate course at LSE has gone from £10,509 to £17,040. The MSc in Gender has risen by £7,000, the MSc Human Rights has increased by £8,500 and the MSc in City Design has risen by nearly £10,000 to £24,456.
The situation for students from the UK and Europe isn’t much better. The LLM has nearly doubled in cost to £13,600, an MSc in Philosophy of the Social Sciences is £5,000 more expensive now, and an MSc in EU Politics has risen over £7,000 to £18,000 in the next year.
Unlike fees for home undergraduates, with fees regulated by the UK government, LSE has complete control over how much they charge for Masters courses and for all international students.
But LSE’s fees setting policy doesn’t make sense. EVERY YEAR fees go up 4%. 4%!! This is beyond inflation, which was at 0.5% in December. So from their first year to their last an undergraduate student that started last year will be paying at least £1,200 by their final year – just because LSE has chosen 4% as the figure to increase fees by.
Some in the School claim that this 4% rises in line because it corresponds increased in staff salaries, but this isn’t true. Some of the courses the School designates as ‘premium’ increased by 6%, but did staff in those courses see a 6% increase in their salaries? No.
Is there a 4% increase in student support available? No. Over the next five years the School expects to spend the same amount of money every year on international scholarships. 4% increase in fees every year but 0% increase in scholarship funds.
Other Universities, including King’s, Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh protect international students by guaranteeing that fees wont rise during their study. LSE should be doing the same.
The School does their initial fee setting at a meeting called Student Numbers and Finance (SNAF) which is meeting in the next few days and I need your help.
What we want
How you can help
Other reading, if you’re interested!
Fees in 2004/5
Fees in 2015/16
LSE Fees Policy
NUS Pound in Your Pocket Report
Former General Secretary Amanda Hart visited LSESU last week to talk about her year in office and why student activism can be such a positive force for change.
She started by telling us about how the decision of LSESU to elect Winston Silcott, falsely accused of murdering a policeman during the Tottenham Riots, as Honourary President blew up into a huge media storm, with press waiting for her outside the East Building. Astonishingly, over 1000 students attended a meeting to discuss the decision – something unimaginable to us today considering UGM participation rates.
She also reflected on her election as the first women General Secretary for fifteen years, having stood on a platform of promoting equality. Eventually Silcott declined the honorary title and the press furore waned, but Amanda is determined that she wouldn’t have done anything differently and doesn’t regret offering him the Presidency. She’s sure that this media attention helped lead to his conviction eventually being overruled.
The experience of the General Secretary Amanda Hart 1988-89 should be a firm reminder of the power of student activism. Today we are still facing issues of inequality, as well as issues around access to higher education due to higher fees. I personally felt inspired by this one example of how LSE Students Union has been a leader in challenging national issues.
However, in order to challenge, we need to have a robust democracy. We’re not in a position to have 1000 people attend a UGM, with a average turnout being 40 or less. For me, this seems like an urgent need to review our democracy.
I’m currently leading a consultation into democracy at LSESU following my election pledge to make our SU more transparent.
Have your say in how you want your Union to be run by filling in this survey, or by coming along to my lunchtime democracy chat on Friday, 1 - 2pm, outside the Activities Resource Centre.
An emergency motion has been added to the UGM this Thursday (29th January): Should LSESU Oppose the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (CTSB)?
This will be discussed in addition to the following motion: Should LSESU Say No To Violence in Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo?
Proposers collected 350 signatures in favour of the motion to ensure that it can be added under the terms of an Emergency Union General Meeting. The UGM will take place from 1 - 2 pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building.
Read on for a full outline of the motion, plus details on the proposer and seconder.
Proposer: Tooba Mushtaq
Seconded: Nona Buckley-Irvine
This union notes:
This union believes:
This union resolves:
To submit a motion, or to speak for or against these motions, please email email@example.com.
Voting on this motion will take place online at www.lsesu.com/vote from 2pm on Thursday until 5pm on Friday.
More info on UGMs
Previous blogs about LSESU’s UGMs
Should LSESU Say No to Violence in Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo?
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