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NUS Calls for Drop-out Fees to Be Scrapped

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

NUS Scotland has described charging students who leave their university and college courses early as unfair.

At present, if Scottish students drop out from a course before a certain cut-off date, they may be liable to pay for the cost of their tuition for that year.

Last year, 12 institutions charged fees to students that left their courses early. The NUS is now calling for the practice to be scrapped.

However, the Scottish government said most colleges and universities did not charge full-time Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) funded students who withdraw from their course early.

Currently, students apply directly to SAAS which then pay the tuition fees. SAAS has a tuition fee cut off date, which varies depending on when the course starts. Under the guidelines it states: "If you withdraw from your course before the tuition fee cut-off date, we will not pay tuition fees or give you a tuition fee loan for your time in attendance."

"Your institution may still charge you tuition fees and you will be liable to meet this cost."

Students have been complaining they were not properly informed about the consequences of dropping out before the cut-off date.

NUS Scotland has now condemned the practice, adding: "We have been one of Scotland's greatest advocates for free education. The fact that anyone would be charged for an education, when they have left, it is completely against our principles and against our values...and should be against the values of an education system which is free, fair and accessible to all."