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Students told they must pay 25% more to receive NCE

Student ICE members face a 25% increase in the cost of subscribing to NCE magazine this year, following the Institution’s decision to cut subsidies.

Although membership remains free to all students on accredited undergraduate courses, the ICE has increased the amount charged to those students wishing to receive a weekly copy of NCE magazine and access to its online service from £40 to £50.

An ICE spokesman stated that the rise was approved by the ICE Operations Team in July last year. This team is part of the non-elected secretariat and comprises the ICE’s directors, led by ICE chief operating officer Andy Ruffles.

Subscription increase

ICE Council approved an average 2.7% increase in overall membership subscriptions last July. This included a £4 a year rise in graduate membership fees but kept student membership free.

However, the decision to increase the charge for students for NCE by £10 a year was not brought before ICE Council.

The ICE spokesman said that it was unclear whether or not the Council had to be consulted on such a matter.

The new charging structure officially came into force in October 2011 as part of the 2012 subscriptions package which was introduced on 1 January.

This week any member who has not paid their 2012 subscription will see their weekly copy of NCE withdrawn by the ICE as part of the reminder process.


The rise has come as a surprise to the Graduates and Students Network (GSNet), which represents the interests of graduate and student ICE members.

GSNet committee honorary secretary Graham Funnell told NCE that he was unaware of the rise.

But he added that the committee “wouldn’t expect to be consulted on something like [magazine subscription charges]”.

The increase in charge for NCE is the second price hike for students since the annual fee to receive a weekly copy rose from £30 to £40 in 2009.

Last year 378 student members opted to subscribe to NCE.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Could be worse, the NCE could have tripled the cost.

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  • David Solan

    Free access to electronic copies of NCE ought to be provided to every student member. Do we seriously expect to engage with the engineers of the future if we restrict industry knowledge?

    378 subscribed students out of how many student members?

    I'd be interested in not recieving a paper NCE, only access to an electronic version. I assume the cost savings (not to mention environmental benefits) of many members opting not to recieve paper copies would go some way to helping the ICE/NCE finances?

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  • I tried offering that as a suggestion a few months back. I didn't even get the courtesy of a response.

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  • It makes perfect sense to offer digital resources; both economically and from a sustainability standpoint. I have often wondered why a Digital copy of the magazine is not available to NCE subscribers through the membership portal...

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  • A digital copy is available if you download the Apple iPad app.

    However i do agree that it would make more sense to make the copy more accessible to members which do not have an iPad and therefore release the economic and environmental benefit.

    Most regular statements and bills (bank statements/mobile phone bills etc) are now sent electronically, rather than by post and i think as a very minimum this option should be offered to members. Sure, not all members would prefer to receive an electronic copy, however the option should be there for members that want to do their bit towards being sustainable.

    After all, we as engineers should be leading the way in promoting the importance of sustainable development.

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  • 378 student members subscribed to NCE last year? That's a tiny percentage! The ICE should be encouraging student subscription, not discouraging it by increasing prices. I have to agree with David Solan that student members should be given free access to NCE online.

    What, exactly, does ICE propose to do with its extra £3780? The institution can't do much with that little money. It'll get even less than that if we assume that the price hike reduces the number of subscribers.

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  • This is a very short sighted move from the ICE and NCE. I expect the Graduates on council to make those who agreed to this traversty to think twice.

    We need to engage more with the student and graduate members not push them away with stunts like this that will not raise any real value.

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  • As a student, I regularly contemplated the idea of buying the subscription but each and every time came to the conclusion that it cost too much. It's no wonder hardly anyone signed up. I now resent that I am far less informed on the industry than I might have been the sake of the NCE having a mere £50 or so from me that year

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  • HI Daniella - the rules have now changed and you can access all our content online or in our app for free - you just need to activate your subscription using your ICE membership number. Enjoy!

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