‘The Full Cost of Full Cost Fees’: ‘Race’, humanitarian aid, and international student fees in Britain c. 1967-1980

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Description of Activity

In 1967, for the first time, international students in Britain were charged more for their tuition fees than ‘home’ students. Over the next thirteen years the difference between ‘home’ and ‘overseas’ fees increased until, in 1980, international students were charged the ‘full-cost’ of their education in Britain. These policy changes were made against a backdrop of considerable financial difficulty in a period of austerity. However, for student activists, particularly those who were part of the National Union of Students, these fees were depicted as, and fought against, as racist and discriminatory. Couched in the terminology and imagery of humanitarian aid, student activists argued that Britain had a duty to educate students from former colonies.

This paper explores the campaigns against rising overseas student fees asking what they can tell us about changing public discourses of ‘race’, humanitarian aid, and Britain’s post-colonial world role.
Period18 Mar 2019
Held atUniversity of Waterloo, Canada, Ontario