Tuition fees - moving to a single, transparent, course-based fee

31 October 2005

UCT will move from a block-fee system to a course-based fee system from the beginning of the 2006 academic year. This means that the way that tuition fees are calculated will change fundamentally, and every course, within any qualification, will have a single and transparent cost attached to it.

From the 2006 academic year onwards, students at UCT will pay a single, all-inclusive fee for each course taken, and other than individual fieldwork charges, no additional charges will be added to the price of the qualification. Students will therefore be able to calculate exact costs by adding the costs of individual courses in any given year. The all-inclusive, course-based fees cover the registration fee and all charges for classes, as well as notes levies, laboratory levies and the cost of supplementary examinations. Other services that are included in the course-based fee are ordinary university examinations; library use and access; computer laboratory and Internet access, including bandwidth costs; access to the university student and staff bus service; compulsory personal accident insurance; the use of general sporting facilities; and, in the case of medical students, hospital fees for clinical instruction and cover for needle-stick injuries.

The change from block fees to course-based fees means that student tuition fees in 2006 will not be directly comparable with the 2005 fees. In order to manage the change in a fair and transparent manner and against an overall benchmark for tuition fee increases, the UCT Council has resolved that the all-inclusive fees payable by all students across all academic programmes should not, on average, be more than 8,8% greater than the fees paid by students in 2005 (including notes levies, laboratory charges and other costs that are now part of the inclusive course-based fees).

There are over 4 500 courses on offer at UCT. The change from block-based to course-based fees has the unavoidable result that the impact of the annual fee increase will vary from student to student, and from curriculum to curriculum. In some cases, the new fee will result in an increase of more than 8, 8%, and in other cases the result will be a lesser increase or even a reduction in fees payable.

To manage the impact on individual students, the university has created a facility for students to apply for a fee rebate where the change to a course-based fee structure will result in a fee increase that is excessive and will create hardship. Students should refer to the 2006 Tuition Fee Handbook for full details. This will be available in print and on the UCT website shortly.

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