Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 22 September, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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core definition

Fees are the financial contribution made by students to their post-compulsory education.

explanatory context

Fees, or tuition fees as they are often called, may be non-existent in some countries where higher education is free. In other settings fees may be set at national, controlled levels or may be open to market competition. Student contribution in controlled or market settings may be partial recovery (that is, account for part of the real cost and thus be partially subsidised), full cost (covering the real cost) or cost plus profit (in which fees are set so that the student pays more than the cost of the programme).

analytical review

City University (2005) defines fees as:

Fees are the charge that a student has to pay towards the costs of his or her study. A fee does not include living costs, but contributes towards the cost of teaching and providing related facilities.


The Higher Education Funding Council for England (2010) comments on fees as follows:

Tuition fees: Students have to pay tuition fees to a university or college to attend a course there.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (undated) is more expansive:

Students have to pay tuition fees to a university or college to attend a course there. Universities and colleges are responsible for setting tuition fees for some categories of student (mostly undergraduates), although they are subject to certain limits set by the Government. Most EU students (including UK students) are eligible for tuition fee loans which will cover the cost of these fees, and which do not need to be repaid until after the student has graduated. Some charges made by institutions are not treated as tuition fees. These include charges for accommodation.

The Information Authority
(2010, p. 50) states:

Tuition fees are defined as monies paid by learners or on their behalf to cover the tuition fees charged for the learning aim. They do not include fees charged for exams, materials or field trips


In Ireland students pay a capitation fee:

The capitation fee is a fixed sum that all students must pay to become members of the student union and other student societies and clubs at their institution. (HEA, 2004)


Indiana College Network (2003) talks about fees as additional costs:

fees/costs: payment required for itemized services or materials involved with higher education classes.

The Northeast Texas Network Consortium (NTNC, 2002) defines fees as:

an amount of money charged by institutions (in addition to tuition) to cover costs of certain services (health services, athletic center, registration, parking, and for the use of lab equipment or computers etc.).


In the Netherlands, tuition fees are governmentally-determined for students who have access to support. Students not eligible for student support include part-time students as well as those full-time students who are not entitled to support because their personal income exceeds the income limits for student support, or because they already used all entitlements to student support. Students without support pay tuition fees set by the institution.

associated issues

related areas

See also



City University, 2005, Fees and bursaries: Frequently asked questions, last modified 18 January, 2005, not available at this address 10 March 2011.

Higher Education Authority (HEA) [of Ireland] 2004, Glossary, no longer available, 29 January 2011.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2010, About us: Glossary, available at, updated 8 November 2010, accessed 14 February 2011, page not available 17 July 2012.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), undated, Glossary, available at, accessed 31 December 2016, not available 20 June 2019.

The Information Authority, 2010, Individualised Learner Record 2010/11: Adult Safeguarded Learning (ASL) Provider Support Manual, Coventry, published 7 June 2010.

Indiana College Network (ICN), 2007, ‘Glossary' available at, updated 15 February 2007, accessed 9 February 2011 , still available 26 June 2019.

Northeast Texas Network Consortium (NTNC), 2002, Distance Learning College Glossary. , accessed 20 September 2012, not available 20 June 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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