This procedure relates to all fees and charges payable to the University by current and former students for the use of its facilities and the provision of its services. This includes monies owed in respect of tuition, accommodation, assessment, graduation, library and other miscellaneous fees and charges.

The University will at all times seek to be sympathetic to, and understanding of, each individual student’s financial circumstances. However, to enable the University to do so, students must engage in dialogue with officers of the University if financial difficulties are being experienced. Students who are experiencing financial difficulties may seek help and advice from the Students’ Union or from Student Services at studentfunding@qmu.ac.uk.

Action to enforce settlement of debt for outstanding fees and charges will be taken in respect of all current and former students who have failed to engage with the University to find a solution to any outstanding debt, or who have failed to honour agreements to pay.

Student Tuition Fees

Tuition fees are due at the start of the programme. Tuition fee payment options are as follows:-

    1. in full on commencement of study (or earlier)
    2. by 8 monthly direct debit payments, normally from October to May (incl).
    3. by 8 monthly debit/credit card recurring payment from October to May (incl).
    4. in full 21 days from the date of invoice

If for any reason the amount of fees is not known at the time of commencement of study, payment is due in full 21 days from the date of invoice, or by direct debit/recurring payments provided payments are completed by May.

All returning students are reminded that they must set-up a new direct debit/recurring payment arrangement for each Academic Year.

Tuition fees may be paid by direct debit or recurring payment instalments over a maximum of eight months from the commencement of the programme. For students commencing programmes at the start of the academic year, instalment payments will normally be due from October to May inclusive. Late direct debit/recurring payment arrangements still require all payments to be completed by May. For students who commence programmes at other points during the academic year, details of payment dates will be advised. Failure to keep direct debit/recurring payments continuing will result in the remaining balance being due for immediate payment.

Self-funding students who have a net tuition fee amount payable of £9,000 or more are eligible for a 5% discount on the fee payable, provided they settle in full prior to 31 October or within 7 days from the date of invoice, whichever is the later. The discount will be calculated at 5% of the net fee payable (i.e. after any scholarship).

A debt is deemed overdue when at the expiry of 21 days from the date of invoice, no payment has been received in full nor have direct debit/recurring payment arrangements been put in place.

When a tuition fee debt becomes overdue, Finance staff will instigate a series of actions as follows :

    1. 1st reminder letter asking the student to contact the Finance Office immediately to pay the fee due or to make arrangements to pay.
    2. if there is no response to the 1st reminder letter within 7 days of issue, a 2nd reminder letter is sent giving the student 7 days to contact the Finance Office.
    3. if there is no response to the 2nd reminder within the 7 days provided for response, the student’s Smartcard will be deactivated, thus removing the student’s ability to access the building and its facilities/services.
    4. at the same time as the Smartcard is deactivated, a third letter, headed FINAL DEMAND will be sent, advising the student that their Smartcard has been deactivated and that failure to contact the Finance Office within a further 7 days will result in the debt being referred to a debt recovery agency (which incurs additional recovery charges that will be charged to the student). Where a student’s debt requires to be sent to a debt recovery agency, the student may be required to withdraw from their programme.
    5. Should a direct debit/recurring payment be cancelled prior to the expiry date or no payment received on the due date, the full remaining debt becomes immediately due. Smartcards will be disabled after 7 days until the debt is either (a) paid in full or (b) alternative payment arrangements put in place. After a further 7 days if the debt remains unpaid or no alternative arrangements have been put in place the full debt will be passed to our Debt Collectors for action.

It should be noted that academic tutors are not empowered to vary fees nor to agree payment schedules with students on behalf of the university. All questions regarding payment of fees must be addressed to the Finance Office in the first instance.

As the main object of the reminder letters is to make contact with the student, in addition to these hard copy reminder letters, Finance staff will also send e-mail reminders and/or text messages and will also attempt to make telephone contact with the student as appropriate. The University reserves the right to use all contact details provided by the student. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that the University is provided with current contact details.

Student Accommodation Fees

Accommodation fee deposits are payable when reserving the room.

Payment options for accommodation fees are as follows:-

  1. in full on arrival, or at any time prior to arrival;

  2. 1st Semester on or before arrival, with 2nd Semester by first week in January;

  3. by 8 monthly direct debit payments from October to May (incl);

  4. by 8 monthly debit/credit card recurring payments October to May (incl).

An accommodation debt is deemed overdue when, at the expiry of 21 days from the date of invoice, no payment has been received, either in full or for the first semester, or no direct debit/recurring payment has been set-up.

When an accommodation debt becomes overdue, Finance staff will instigate a series of actions as follows:

  1.  1st reminder letter asking the student to contact the Finance Office immediately to pay the fee due or to make arrangements to pay.
  2. If there is no response to the 1st reminder letter within 7 days of issue, a 2nd reminder letter is sent giving the student 7 days to contact Finance.
  3. If there is no response to the 2nd reminder a letter will be issued to the student’s Guarantor requesting the money be paid immediately. The student will also receive a FINAL DEMAND and may be served notice to vacate their room, in accordance with the provisions of the lease agreement.
  4. If no response is received to the final demand or from the guarantor, the debt will be referred to a debt recovery agency.
  5. Should a direct debit/recurring payment be cancelled prior to the expiry date or no payment received on the due date, the full remaining debt becomes immediately due.
  6. Guarantors will be written to after 7 days requesting the balance to be paid in full. After a further 7 days if the debt remains unpaid or no alternative arrangements have been put in place the full debt will be passed to our Debt Collectors for action

Accommodation deposits will be used to off-set any room damages and/or existing debts.

Other debts

Other debts include (but are not restricted to) Library debts and fines, late payment charges, sports membership fees, assessment fees and graduation fees. Similar procedures relating to the issuing of reminders and, ultimately if necessary, referral to a debt recovery agency, will apply to these types of debt.

 

Student Progression and Graduation

No student will be allowed to progress to the next year of his or her programme nor be allowed to attend any Graduation Ceremony if they have any outstanding tuition fee debt to the University. This is in accordance with the Student Regulations. Also in accordance with the Student Loan Company regulations, loan cheques are not able to be released for the following year’s loan until the student has matriculated (i.e. all prior year tuition fee debts have been settled).

Director of Operations and Finance

April 2010

(Updated July 2012)

Queen Margaret University

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