‘Slice the Price’ campaigns for more flexible tuition payment

‘Slice the Price’ is a campaign aiming to create a more flexible tuition payment plan for self-funded students. Led by Hannan Badar and Ahad Mahmood, the campaign aims to put in place a third payable instalment and increase access to bursaries provided by the University.

Launched last year, the campaign initially enabled students who were receiving the full amount of the King’s living bursary to get a third instalment. Leaders of the campaign are now looking to get a third instalment for every student who self-funds, regardless of them being undergraduates, postgraduates, or bursary receivers. Moreover, Slice the Price also seeks to scrutinise the means testing that KCL does for bursaries and work for more scholarships to be given to students.

The current system of paying the fees is extremely unfeasible. Last year, 19,000 students at KCL self-funded their degree. According to Hannan, “providing a third instalment will make things easier for students, who often have money to pay the fees, but not to cover their living expenses.”

Currently, undergraduate home students have loan options, while international students don’t. The creation of a third instalment will therefore not only ease the burden of those who suffer under the 6.3% interest rate against their loans, but also of the international and postgraduate students who have lesser options.

The present dual-instalment system of fee payment usually results in students asking for extensions, which causes a lot of issues with the finance department. Students – particularly international students – struggle to get multiple documents ready and often find it less hassling to simply pay the fees, rather than ask for an extension.

Slice the Price aims to present a business case to King’s to figure out how best to implement a third instalment. On the future of the plan, Hannan said: “We are trying to speak numbers with the university. We’ve submitted a FOI to get the information we need, and are trying to gain support through a marketing campaign as well. If this doesn’t work, we’ll have to take some form of action.”

The FOIs and desk-based research will hopefully enable the leaders to collect qualitative and quantitative data to understand how KCL Finance uses its money, and hold it accountable. Awareness will potentially be increased through on-the-ground leafleting, talking to other societies and gaining media coverage, so that students are aware of more ways that they can fund their education. This semester, the campaign also aims to host an open lecture to giver more information to the student body. Details of this will be posted on kclsu.org soon.

Slice the Price also seeks to collect data from students on their experience with KCL Finance, and what they want from them, through a survey. This will help them build a case to ensure that the University is fully aware of what students actually think, push their agenda and make King’s realise that the creation of a third instalment falls in plan with the 2029 objectives.