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Okay, so, how much will I have to pay?

There’s nothing to say that universities have to charge students £3,145 a year, or £2,000, or even 50p. £3,145 is the maximum they can ask for but, as of 2006, there’s no minimum fee.

However, in reality only a handful of universities are letting students off lightly. Most need to haul in as much dosh as possible (like we said, those lecturers and labs don’t come cheap) and there’s also a concern that charging less for a course will make the university seem, well, a bit bargain bin. Think of the difference between, say, Primarni and actual Armani.

There are a few exceptions – check the finance sections of the university profiles to see who charges what. And of course, fees aren’t set in stone so it’s always worth checking with the universities themselves for the most up-to-date info. Once universities get used to the whole variable fee thing, there might be more variation with unis flogging off unpopular courses like the CD bargain bin at Woolies or universities trying to undercut their rivals, supermarket style.

Fees are lower in Scotland as well. While Scottish students are let off fees altogether, anyone from a different part of the UK will only be charged £1,775 a year to study in Scotland, or £2,775 for medicine. However, university courses in Scotland tend to last longer – four years instead of the standard three in the rest of the UK – and tend to be more popular with Scottish natives than students trying to escape fees in other parts of the UK.

See the table below for the maximum a student from England will have to fork out to study in the UK this year compared to previous years:

  2006 -7 2007-8 2008-9
England £3,000 £3,090 £3,145
Wales £1,200 £3,000 £3,145
Northern Ireland £3,000 £3,000 £3,145
Scotland £1,700 £1,700 £1,775
Medicine in Scotland £2,700 £2,700 £2,775

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