RGU announces fees for students from the rest of the UK

As readers of this blog will know, there are no university tuition fees in Scotland for Scottish and EU students. However, in the light of the new fees régime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and further in order to ensure that university places in Scotland are not placed under impossible pressure of demand from the rest of the UK, the Scottish government announced that universities can charge rest-of-UK students up to £9,000 p.a. from the academic year 2012-13.

Most Scottish universities have now announced their rest-of-UK fees, with a number of institutions opting for the £9,000 limit (though in the cases of Aberdeen University and Heriot Watt, these fees apply to three years only, with the final year free to those whose studies cover four years).

Today my own institution, Robert Gordon University, has made its rest-of-UK fees announcement, and we have decided to set fees in accordance with the actual cost of delivering the degrees. This means that we have set the fees in three bands, with fees ranging from £5,000 to £6,750, with one programme (Master of Pharmacy) having a fee of £8,500. Under this framework Scottish students do not subsidise students from the rest of the UK, and these in turn do not subsidise Scottish students; we regard this as a fair and transparent framework.

RGU will also announce a framework for scholarships, bursaries and student support for all students in due course.

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14 Comments on “RGU announces fees for students from the rest of the UK”


  1. Yes, that’s fair, though I would have thought that the EU regime on education precludes differential fees for students from different countries. My own preference has for a long time been to issue citizens with education vouchers which they could cash in throughout their life for education. Such a system would be consistent with having a fee structure that’s aligned with the cost of delivering the degree.


    • Thanks, Donncha. You are right about the EU dimension, except that Scotland and England are (for now) not separate countries, and therefore EU law does not affect this, as it doesn’t prohibit different pricing within the same country.


      • Yet another argument for English independence. I blame James VI and I!

        RGU should now be very attractive to English students, given how very few English institutions are anywhere near this price point. As a matter of curiosity, how will you manage if you see overwhelming growth in English applications. Is there not a risk that Scottish students will be crowded out?

        Actually, on reflection, it is really Elizabeth I’s fault that the English line died out. James VI couldn’t choose his parents.

        • Anna Notaro Says:

          you’re right Andrew about blaming Elizabeth I, after all she was the ‘Virgin Queen’ married to her country :)
          Very fair fees structure btw…

        • Eddie Says:

          It is still 4 years degree for the kind of students who intend to apply to this university after RG England fills its places. Not all Group94 will charge the full whack. Still my advice to these students is: go to Leuven, Masstricht, some Dutch and even German universities that deliver courses in English, they are more respected and are much much cheaper. Keep away from SNP and Scotland.

  2. bethduff Says:

    Congratulations on coming up with an elegant and fair solution.

  3. Fred Says:

    I saw the announcement today and my reaction was that yes this is a fair solution and a product of thought from RGU’s management. It seems that it is one of the few universities (or the only ?) that you are publicly accept that not all the programes have the same costs.
    Congratulations.


  4. If Paddy Scotsman pays nothing, and Paddy Englishman pays up to £9000, what will Paddy Irishman pay?


  5. As you undoubtedly know, different fees for in-state and out-of-state students is the norm in the US. And while it might go against ideals of cohesion and harmony across Europe, I think it makes much sense to allow a similar regime in Europe.

  6. Sandy Brownlee Says:

    I’m quite proud that my old university has adopted an approach that appears to be much better thought out and justified than many other institutions.

    What a shame that the fees regime in other parts of the UK has meant this needed to happen at all.


  7. Fair point, though broad-brush rules do tend to have unintended consequences, such as making an educational voucher scheme (a pet love of mine) effectively unworkable. They also can work to block what might be innovative solutions to the funding of higher education.


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