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Russell Group costs York eight times more than 1994 Group

Membership of the Russell group is costing York eight times as much in fees than it did to be part of the 1994 Group.

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The Russell Group, which accepted York as a new member last year, aims top promote top Universities. Photo Credit: CARLOS62
The Russell Group, which accepted York as a new member last year, aims top promote top Universities. Photo Credit: CARLOS62


Membership of the Russell group is costing York eight times as much in fees than it did to be part of the 1994 Group.

Last year, Nouse reported how York was accepted into the Russell Group with three other universities.

Being part of the Russell group is considered to be a prestigious accreditation for top universities.

However there are those who believe groups like this are not worth being a part of, and York can represent its quality through its own achievements.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show the University has so far made one payment to the Russell Group for 2012/13 of £159,000.

In comparison, from 2008 to 2012 only £85,500 was made in payments to the 1994 Group.

In 2008/09, £20,000 was paid, £21, 000 in 2009/10, £22, 000 in 2010/11, and £22, 500 in 2011/12.

This means the annual payment to the Russell Group is around eight times higher than those to the 1994 Group.

While many will argue that Russell Group membership is essential, the hike in payments, puts further pressure on the University.

Currently there is some concern that there is a poor effort at promoting or lobbying by the University amongst the big organisations such as the Russell Group, or HEFCE who recently hit York with a massive funding cut, disproportionately affecting teaching.

Kallum Taylor, YUSU President, commented: "Whether we agree with it or not, the financial clout of the grouping makes it the most effective university mission group out of the lot.

"We have to question what we're actually getting from this beyond access to Government and an added element of prestige, does it give an added benefit to our members time at University whilst they're here? Our membership certainly helps York justify maximum tuition fees - so what are students getting for it?"

He added: "As we already know, there's a lot of work to be done on improving the Student Experience here, eradicating hidden costs and improving our members' employment prospects. We're going to have to see improvements soon.

"The same can be said for the support given to the Students' Union here too. YUSU currently sit in the bottom three Russell Group institutions for block grant support; and we haven't had a proportional increase in our block grant to the drastic increase in student numbers"

A University spokesperson said: "The Russell Group is a well-staffed and highly effective organisation which speaks clearly on behalf of the top universities in the UK.

"In addition it provides high quality advice and support for its members. Taking these points together, we believe the subscription fee charged by the Russell Group represents value for money."


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