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Student Costs

Volume 14: debated on Thursday 3 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the average cost per student including education, maintenance and other costs at British universities in 1979–80 and 1980–81.

The gross recurrent cost per student, including mandatory awards, at British universities is estimated to have been as follows:

1979–80 (outturn prices) £1980–81 (outturn prices) £
4,3705,350

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the average cost per student including education, maintenance and other costs at polytechnics in England in 1979–80 and 1980–81.

The gross recurrent cost per student, including mandatory awards, at polytechnics in England is estimated to have been as follows:

1979–80 (outturn prices)1980–81 (outturn prices)
££
3,7304,420

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what, approximately, was the marginal cost of an extra student, including education, maintenance and other costs, at a British university in 1979–80 and 1980–81;(2) what, approximately, was the marginal cost of an extra student, including education, maintenance and other costs, at an English polytechnic in 1979–80 and 1980–81.

It is virtually impossible to associate marginal cost levels with whole sectors of higher education or even single institutions, because so much depends upon the type of course, the availability of places, standards of provision and the circumstances of students.Writing in "The Overseas Student Question" M. Blaugh suggests, on the basis of the Work of D. Verry and B. Davies—"University Costs and Outputs, 1976"—that as a rough general rule long-run marginal costs in undergraduate higher education are half of average costs in classroom-based subjects and two-thirds of average costs in laboratory-based subjects.