Monday, October 10, 2005

Ripped off NUS card

I sure am needed some consolation here. I've made a complain earlier (trust me, it's so unlike me, actually! *wink*) about the outrageous charges the University of Brighton's Student Union has charged their skinned students for their NUS card. Apparently, we need to pay £3.00 for our NUS card, the very same card being issued for free in all London Universities (UCL, Imperial, etc) as well as Thames Valley University and even Sussex University!

"You know what, you are the second person out of 2000+ students that had made a complain about this charges. I even heard other universities that charged £10.00 to get the NUS issued", says the unamused lady that dealing with us in the student union reception, when we express our shock regarding the £3.00 NUS card. She, however, failed to mention which university(s) does that.

Five years ago, when I was just a first year undergraduate student, it was free to have an NUS card issued to UoB's students. The union started to charge us £1.00 the year after that, stating that it's for "administration" cost. Honestly, for the love of God, I don't know where that cost come from cos all they do is have the empty cardboard papers in hand and ask us to write down our own detail inside there and all they do is laminate it, while other universities have it nicely done in a proper NUS card and have their detail typed in rather than written flimsily. No wonder staff in a shop or restaurant or even gym had to have their eyes squinted when looking at my NUS card. I know they still do try to look polite, but I can't help but recognising their "uncertain" facial expression on whether my NUS card is the real one or not. Can't blame them.

About a year ago, we need to pay £2.00 -for the lamination- to get our NUS card done. I was given a firm "no" when I asked them whether I can have my card un-laminated as £2.00 for lamination is quite outrageous.

This year, things started to get even worse. It cost £3.00 to have my NUS issued. The lady in the student union reception explained grumpily -when we midly "question" her- that the £2.00 is for administration fee and the other £1.00 is for the African scholarship charity or something. I don't mind giving anything for charity, but am sure feel much better if I can do it myself on my own rather than being "forced" by paying through my NUS card.

The lady, had unfortunately taking the whole situation personally, told us rudely, "so do you want the NUS card or not?! I don't have time for argument here! it's your decision to have your NUS! We are not forcing you to get it and therefore you don't need to pay if you don't want your NUS card issued!"

"Of course I still want my NUS card issued, and that's the problem, you see.." I tried to explain to her patiently, "I don't really have any choice as NUS card is the only thing that will officially stated that I am from this university. Unfortunately, we, as students, only able to gulp our words in and accept the fact that University of Brighton charged their students £3.00 for each NUS they issued. Maybe that's why I am the only second person out of 2000+ students that raise a complain in regards of this problem because (a) they might be freshers that didn't know the current normal situation yet and (b) cos, like me, they have no choice but to get their NUS issued."

No words from her for a moment, and then..

"Well, if you want to make a complain about the whole situation, you better talk to the President of the Student Union about it!", she said grumpily.

Oh, yes, am sure going to talk to them. In fact, maybe I should even send a copy of the complain to the Vice Chancellor of UoB, Student Union Advice centre, and the SU welfare.

On the lift up to my office, I still voiced my dissapointment to one of my colleague (who actually went down with me to the Student Union reception earlier) and it's about 15 more students inside with us and glad to hear that they voiced the same thought as us as well!

"We didn't know that other Universities has had it for free! We shall go and make a complain to the Student Union Reception as well!" all of them said.

Thank you guys!
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An update:

Thanks to one of my colleague, Soma, who had also done a research about the mysterious £10.00 NUS charges, she managed to find various website link below which explain the whole situation much more clearer and which also shows how University of Brighton has overcharged its own students.

London Met
University of Gloucestershire
News about the mysterious £10.00 NUS charge
LUSU online
Henley College Coventry

4 comments:

Stroppycow said...

I am pretty sure that Plymouth charged us for our NUS cards. Can't remember if it was £1 or £2. It was a few years back as well so by now they might be charging a tenner too.

c0y0t3 said...

Hi Helene!

I do hope Plymouth not charging a tenner for their student. £3.00 for us is already bad enough, let alone a tenner.

Kat said...

I'll be outraged if UoS starts to charge us for our union card. Grrr..

Sharon said...

london met charges ten for the NUS card. This is too much as it is internartional students pay more fees than local students.