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Students meet University Finance Director about fee increases

Students meeting Allan SpencerStudents & Students' Union Officers met Allan Spencer, the University's Director of Finance, to talk about fee increases and present him with the following letter signed by 227 students opposing a recent unexpected increase.

More about our tuition fee increase campaign »


Mr Allan Spencer
Sussex House
University of Sussex
BN1 9RH 


To Mr. Allan Spencer, Director of Finance,

It’s with great concern that we have recently acknowledged the hike in tuition fees for International students, going from £13 000 to £13 750 for Research degrees.

We, as students, already pay a huge amount of fees to study at Sussex. An increase of £750 for a year is a 5% jump in fees and well over inflation. It is a sum of money that most of us can’t afford to spend.

Moreover it must be stressed that this increase was not officially notified beforehand, rendering it impossible to budget in advance.

For those of us who receive funding independent from the fees themselves, it represents an amount we have to pay out of our own pockets and budget out of the already incredibly expensive costs of living in Brighton. For others, it creates confusion as to whether funding agencies will pay for this increase or not. For those who don’t receive funding, needless to say that it adds up to an already extremely stressful situation of financial insecurity. Many of us have had to take on part-time jobs in order to support our expenses at Sussex. £750 is the equivalent of 115 hours working in a restaurant. This kind of increase therefore means for many of us that we will have to work more, greatly affecting the quality of our research. As for others, extended work hours are not even an option due to visa restrictions.

Our concerns also add up to existing frustrations concerning the lack of communication towards students in general and international students in particular. Many have thus perceived this absence of notification as a lack a consideration and respect. Moreover, for doctoral researchers, the absence of many essential services crucial to our professional and personal development throughout the PhD (decent office space that are not overcrowded with access to computers and printing facilities, material resources such as business cards to circulate in academic events, sufficient financial aid to attend conferences and research events, etc.) makes it all the more difficult to accept this arbitrary hike in tuitions when the quality and access to these services have not been equally increased.

We are also concerned with the repetition of such an increase in subsequent years, increase that might question our ability and/or willingness to pay and stay at Sussex.


-    We demand that this year’s hike be cancelled. First, because neither we, nor our funding agencies had time to prepare in consequences due to the fact that: 1) it was announced only in late summer in some sub-section of the university website; and 2) we didn’t receive any form of official correspondence notifying us of such an increase, nor of the existence and availability of this information on the website.

Considering that the only form of “notification” of a potential increase in tuition fees throughout the course of our studies that exists today consists of a line in the acceptance letter stating that “all fees are liable to review and change without notice and for degrees lasting more than one year to increase each year over the duration of the degree,” we strongly believe that this is neither sufficient, nor worthy of the consideration and respect students deserve in their relation with the university. Therefore, we demand that the policy concerning future tuition hike be revised, clarified and negotiated in a transparent and collaborative matter:

We demand that a “fix tuition policy” be established, stating that the amount of fees we pay remain the same throughout the normal duration of our degree.

  • In the absence of such a policy, the amount of potential increases in tuition fees: 1) should be clearly stated in the acceptance letter; 2) should consist of a fix percentage; and 3) this percentage should not surpass the inflation rate.
  • In the event of any subsequent raise in tution fees, such increases should be clearly notified. By notification, we mean: 1) a form of official correspondence from the university (letter or email); 2) sent directly to all students concerned; 3) sent at least 6 months in advance, or in January for a rise in the subsequent academic year.


Adinda Van Hemelrijck, Adriana De Oro, Ahren Janiyan, Ahuti Das, Aide Violeta Fuentes Barron, Aimee Eckert, Aimen Majeedullah, Alejandro Márquez, Aleksandar Dimitrovski, Alexander Dunlap, Alexander Jeffery, Alia Aghajanian, Amanda Holland, Amy Bullivant, Amy Gower, Ana Lorena Ruiz González, Ana Porroche-Escudero, Ana Solórzano, Andrea Brock, Andrea McKinlay, Andrew Howard, Ann-Kathrin Johnen, Antonios Alexandridis, Aparna John, Arushi Singh, Asli Eyecioglu, Astrid Jamar, Astrid M.C. Jamar, Aysenur Karabulut, Ayumi Watanabe, Baltabayeva Lyazat, Barnaby Suttle, Bassey Eyo, Béatrice Châteauvert-Gagnon, Becky Mitchell, Bethan Hunt, Bhawana Sahu, Bronwen Gillespie, Cansu Tuna, Carolina Oliveira, Ce Liang, Cesar Gustavo Iriarte Rivas, Charlotte Divet, Chris Ferguson, Chris Inman, Christopher Garland Long, Christopher Harman, Claire Harry, Cong NIU, Cristina Loureiro Vilela, Cynthia Zacharopoulou, Daniel Greenberg, Daniel Leyton Atenas, Daniel Watson, Delphine Schlosser, Diana Kyriazis, Diego Carrasco, Dursun Tuyloglu, Edel Anabwani, Edward Boydell, Edwin Cristancho, Ekin Secinti, Eleanor King, Elif Tugce Yasin, Elisabeth Lund, Ellen Vandenbogaerde, Emily Danvers, Emma Asciutti, Esin Koc, Eva Hilberg, Felipe Antunes de Oliveira, Florence Dafe, Frances Thomson, Freddie Meade, Gabrielle Daoust, Gaspard Pelurson, Gemma Cobb, George Morrison, Georgia Kingwood, Georgina Christou, Giuseppe Lerner, Glauber Carvalho Dorsch, Guy Marsden, Habibah Haque, Hadder El Shafie, Hani Morsi, Hannah James, Hannah Vincent, Hanne Andreassen, Hoi Lun Helen Kung, Hsiang-mei Wu, Ijiel Barak Naranjo Perez-Fernandez, Irene Solà, Jacob Berner Moe, Jaja Jasper Chinedum, Jamie Mocker, Jana Valekova , Jasper Green, Javier Zamora García, Jemma Deer, Jennifer Mankin, Jenny Diggins, Jill Ahrens, Jody Aked, John Maule, Jon Sward, Joseph Paxton, Juan Jaime Loera Gonzalez, Julia Shearman, Juliana Russar, Kai Heron, Kane Shaw , Katie Wright-Higgins, Katy Joyce, Khadija Rashad, Khalid Hanif, Kieran Duffy, Kota Sugimoto, Kristian Bjoerke, Kristina Holm Jensen, Kyoko Ito, Kyo-Min Jung, Laura Baker, Laura Murphy, Laurence Williams, Leah Edens , Lidia Cabral, Lieke van Son, Lindsay Leigh, Long Meng, Lucia Kišová, Luqman Onikosi, Lyndsay Burtonshaw, Manh Huy Hoang, Marco Fiorentini, Mareike Beck, Maria Cascant, Maria de las Mercedes Giralt Sos, Maria Fernanda Suarez, Marika Diolai, Marios Constantinou, Martha Bloom, Mateo Mier v Teran Gimenez Cacho, Matteo Caravani, Maysa Shqerat, Meike Sieburg, Melissa Lazenby, Michael Segalov, Mohamed Abouaziza, Monserrat Mena, Morgan Rhys Williams, Mtengezo Clifton, Muhammad Adnan Sattar, Nancy Turgeon, Natalia Morelli, Natalia Raha, Nicola Palumbo, Nicoloine Nwenushi Tumasang Epse Wazeh, Nisha Peter, Nitipon Piwmow, Ntokozo Sibahle Yingwana, Nurys B Astudillo , Oli Weiss, Onur Acaroglu, Paing Hein Htet, Pamela Wadi, Paola Moscoso , Paul Robert Gilbert, Paula Leal, Pedro Lucas Dutra Salgado, Peter Slovak, Po-Han Lee, Polina Lobanova, Ramy Hanna, Rebecca Ashley, Rianna Gargiulo, Ricardo Santos, Ridwan Barbhuiyan, Rosanna Barnard, Rose Taylor, Rostron Olliver, Sahil Dutta, Sajida Ally, Saki Hyakutake, Sanna Mustelin, Shikhar Shrivastava, Shilpa Deshpande, Shraddha Srivastava, Siân Millward, Simeon Borisov, Simon Guillaumé, Soontree Siriinntawong, Sophie Valeix, Stuart Bayliss, Sung Kyu Kim, Syed Abbas, Tamahi Kato, Tamari Barsonidze, Tanvir Ahmed, Taylor Anne Riley, Thalia Carreño , Thanos Polymeneas-Liontiris, Thomas Chambers, Thomas Helmut Kober, Thomas Kiggell, Thomas Smith, Tiago Franco, Ting Yang, TingTIing Ma, Tom Martin, Triantafyllos Parafelas, UMEZULIKE CHISOM CYNTHIA, Umoloyouvwe Ejiro O. Onomake, Veronica Ryan, Victoria Klinkert, Wepjitti Somkiatjaroen, Witchaya Phewmau, Yahya Mohamed Mao, Yavuz Dursun Tuyloglu, Yeyang Su, Yi Wang, Yilan Geng, Ying Tang, Yunina Mitsumori, Yunshi HE, Zhanara Makhayeva, ZhiCheng Thomas WANG


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