As part of a wider analysis of library fines at educational institutions across the United Kingdom, it can be suggested that the University of Westminster appears to be clearly leading the way for setting a student-first approach. The University hasn’t received ‘a penny in fines’ since the 1990s – not something that many institutions can lay claim too. At other institutions across the United Kingdom, there have been an unbelievable amount of money spent on library fines – with students at Oxford University alone spending over £150,000!
The vast majority of institutions across the United Kingdom fine students for not returning books on time. However with these fines usually resulting in tens of thousands of pounds being spent, it is a system which clearly isn’t working. Information on where exactly the money goes is often opaque too – which is disappointing considering that student’s already spend £9,000 per year on tuition fees – not to mention living costs. Library’s often make healthy profits too on printing – something that we expected to be included in our tuition fees!
Conversely, the University of Westminster temporarily bans students from taking out library books. This system is much fairer on everyone – and acts as a better deterrent than a monetary fine. If a student has an important exam coming up, they could suggest a monetary fine is worthwhile, considering the extra study time they’ll get with the book. Yet if they faced a ban for doing this, it would be a stronger deterrent. Therefore, the University of Westminster is setting a strong standard that many should follow. The current system clearly isn’t working for anyone.
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