Figures obtained by UniEel have shown that students from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS) spent heavily on library fines for the 2016-17 academic year. Students spent a total of £38,435 on library fines. This figure is just above average for library fines in institutions across the United Kingdom, though the next statistic is worrying. To put this figure into perspective, this equates to a spend of approximately £6.41 per student – a very high amount. This is the second highest spend per student seen in the United Kingdom. This figure takes into account fines for overdue items – other costs such as replacing lost/damaged resources have not been included.
This amount will be very disappointing for students. While there are many great things about being a student in London, this is an additional cost that student’s could do without. Some University’s don’t fine students for being overdue with books, instead banning them temporarily.
It should also be noted the University library makes a substantial profit on areas such as printing – something that isn’t included in tuition fees, unexpectedly. Students are urged to return items before their due date, which can help to lower the figure witnessed for the 2016-2017 academic year.
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It is worth reminding again that this figure didn’t take into account other costs, mentioned earlier, like lost or damaged resources. These fines come on top of the thousands of pounds in tuition fees spent each year by student’s. While it can be both annoying and unfair when someone doesn’t return their book in time, it could be argued a lower fine is fairer on students, or even a switch to the banning system successfully implemented at the University of Westminster. This figure could prompt discussion regarding the fairness of library fines. For students at SOAS, these statistics are very worrying.