YOU’RE FINED: Cardiff Uni milks students for over £1.4 million in library fines

A Tab investigation revealed the university has charged students £1,472,692 in library fines since 2010…but only collected just over half of it


How many times have you forgotten to take a book back and had to pay a fine?

The Tab can reveal that Cardiff uni has charged a whopping £1,472,692 in library fines over the past four years, a considerably higher figure than at most universities around the country.

We asked the uni how it was possible they had charged so much:

“Cardiff University students borrow 4 to 5 times more items than in any other Welsh university. There are more students, and we have more books available for students to borrow.”

“Fines are only incurred when library books are returned after their due date; there is no need for any student to pay fines if they return – or renew – their books on time. The purpose of fines is to encourage this so that as many students as possible can share them. Library staff will waive fines where there are genuine extenuating circumstances such as sickness.”

We’ll give them a bit of credit in that they have only collected £818,864 of the total amount. Turns out crying to the librarian does pay off.

No doubt hiding from her fines

We asked the uni what they did with all the money and they said:

“The funds collected through fines are used within the University’s Information Services budget; this may include covering the overall staff salary bill, operational costs, purchase of computer equipment etc. The fines money is not ring-fenced for any particular purpose within the Information Services budget, apart from the money received in payment for replacement of missing items.”

So we worked out what we would do with the money instead:

Buy 455,941 pints

And that’s at the average Cardiff price of £3.23 not the Taf prices!

Or 613,621 Jäger bombs

That’s at the SU price of £2.40 each

Give students free entry to Flux for 11 weeks, that’s for all 26,269 students.

All form an orderly queue

Or take 3681 students on a £400 all inclusive holiday for a week

It is our money after all

Ah the Tab can dream…