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Stop KCL's unjust MA application policy: King's only wants students with £1040 to spare.

This petition had 1,337 supporters


This year King’s College London has rolled out a £40 application fee at MA level, and a mandatory deposit of £1000 for domestic students. This flat rate is the same whether applicants hope to study full-time or part-time courses. International students are required to pay an even more extortionate deposit of £2000: a debilitating amount.

This means that every student with an offer to study their Master’s at King’s College London, must pay up to £2040, simply to accept their place. These unfortunate candidates are given just one month in which to gather their funds, and make this life-changing decision. The deposit is non-refundable, except in dire circumstances, and typically due during Spring (for courses beginning in September).

Naturally, many frustrated students will have to decline their offers, purely because they cannot afford to pay such a huge portion of their fees, so many months before enrolment. Most students with incoming loans will not even have access to those funds in time. This bizarre and unjust admissions policy declines to give those students the chance to save over the summer, or earn while they learn.

This change has been rolled out across KCL as a college-wide policy. The policy was introduced into the school of Arts & Humanities just this year, and they have already seen a decrease in applications and a drop in accepted offers. Only time will tell how harmful this policy will be on the university’s diversity. KCL’s smaller courses may not survive the change, if prospective students are made to decline their offers for financial reasons. It’s hard to imagine how such money-grubbing bureaucracy could encourage applications, increase acceptance rates or improve academic attainment.

King’s is one of the best universities in the world. If we hope to maintain our reputation, and continue to draw in brilliant minds from across the globe, we need to commit ourselves to inclusion. Yet students who hope to learn in London – a cultural nexus and one of the most diverse cities in the world – will find that King’s is not a welcoming university. We cannot have such an exclusionary, elitist and devastating deposit policy. Our Principal & President, Ed Byrne, has said before that KCL’s highest priority is student satisfaction… We are not satisfied.

The entire MA cohort are now reaching out to the administration. Many of us would not have been able to attend KCL had this deposit been in place when we’d applied. Many of us come from working class families, and otherwise identify as minorities. Our testimonials are available to the public, online, and explain why individual students are outraged and saddened by this new thoughtless and exclusionary policy. It seems that instead of aiming to widen participation, King’s College London hopes to narrow it.

Why should KCL’s most important entry requirement be a fat bank account? How can they justify such an inordinate and absurdly arbitrary amount? A £500 deposit would be no better. This student-led petition demands that the deposit is dropped, and the application fee abolished.

Reversing this appalling and alienating policy is in the university’s best interest. After all, most MA hopefuls will apply to more than one university; the best among them will be accepted to several. Where will those students go? To the university that demands £1000 upfront, or to the institution that understands their applicants are academics, not cash cows?

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If you feel strongly about KCL’s new and misguided admissions policy, get in touch! Send me a sentence, a paragraph, or an essay at giovanna.marasco@kcl.ac.uk or contact KCL Angry Masters.

N.B: This petition has been edited to show updated information (the application fee is £40 not £50).



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