Average RUK fee in Scotland is significantly lower than average fees charged by universities in England

Today’s (Monday 3 October) announcement by the University of the Highlands and Islands of its fee intentions for students that live in the rest of the UK marks the final fee announcement from a Scottish university. The announcement makes it possible to calculate an average fee payable by students that are ordinarily resident in the rest of the UK for undergraduate degrees.
Based on announcements of fee intentions of all of Scotland’s universities, the average annual fee is £6,841 before fee waivers and bursaries are taken into account.

Alastair Sim, Director of Universities Scotland said:


“At £6,841 the average fee for students living in the rest-of-UK is significantly lower than the equivalent average fee charged by English universities which the Office for Fair Access puts at £8,509. When bursaries, fee-waivers and scholarships offered by universities are taken into account, the average fee which students will actually end up paying in 2012-13 is likely to be several hundred pounds lower than this.

“In setting fees for students that live in the rest of the UK, Scotland’s universities have sought to offer a range of options including flexibility on year of entry which helps to reduce costs and ensures a degree in Scotland need be no more expensive than in England. Universities have also voluntarily put forward a raft of new and additional fee waivers, bursaries and scholarships to recognise talented students and support students from low-income households.

“Students from the rest of the UK are an important part of the diverse student population in Scotland’s universities and Principals very much want to see the cross-border flow of students continue. Scotland’s universities have a lot to offer students from across the UK including the highest student satisfaction ratings and the fact that graduates from Scottish universities have the highest rates of graduate employment and starting salaries in the UK.”



  • Universities in Scotland have been announcing their fee intentions over the course of September. The University of the Highlands and Islands is the last to do so.
  • The fee average is the average annual cost of tuition, based on the standard four-year degree in Scotland. However, every Scottish university has made flexible entry into year two or accelerated programmes available which will further reduce the cost for students wishing to take up this option.
  • Fees apply to students starting undergraduate degree programmes from academic year 2012/13 and only to those students who are ordinarily resident in the rest of the UK. Access to higher education remains free for Scottish and EU domiciled students.
  • The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) calculated average fees charged by universities in England students both before and after fee waivers and bursaries are factored in. The figure before bursaries were accounted for is £8,509.
  • It is not yet possible to calculate an accurate estimate of the average RUK fee in Scotland after bursaries are deducted because some institutions are yet to announce full details and because the precise amounts will depend on students’ eligibility for financial support. However, on the basis of announcements already made, we expect the package on offer to compete with that available in the rest of the UK.