Since 2010 Queen’s University students have spent exactly £1,170,800.42 on printing in the McClay library.

Currently the cost of printing one page in the McClay library is 5 pence for black and white, and 15p for printing in colour. Many students have expressed concern as to why it still costs 5p per page, despite a new printing system in the McClay that automatically prints on both sides of a page.

The breakdown of revenue raised since 2010 can be seen below.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 17.16.56

We submitted another Freedom of Information request to ascertain how much profit is made on the printing of one sheet of paper as set out below:

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 16.54.20

Of the £1,170,800.47 revenue raised since 2010 there has been a surplus of ‘around’ £52,000.

Out of this surplus we were told that £4,000 has been spent on offsetting the losses associated with photocopying as “we keep student charges for photocopying and printing the same, although photocopying has historically cost slightly more.”

In addition to this, £28,550 was spent between 2010-2011 for the installation of the RFID locker system for loaned laptops, and and additional £7,600 between 2014-2015 for the refurbishment of the training room in the Medical Library.

This still leaves £11,850 unaccounted for.

Paul Loughran from the Student Poverty Alliance Group at QUB told The Scoop:

“We are currently in the process of pricing and establishing a student-led printing service specifically set up to facilitate printing at a fraction of the cost of the University. This was after the University being asked several times if they could reduce the cost of printing. Belfast Metropolitan College charge only 1p per B&W and 5p for colour page, compared to QUB’s at 5p and 15p. Based on the figures we’ve been seeing, QUB’s figures as to why they charge 5p don’t quite add up to us. But if they are accurate – then that confirms our plan that we’ve to set up a service specifically aimed at providing affordable printing, rather than a service within the library itself.”

Paul Wyatt

Paul Wyatt is one of the founding scoop members. As one of our on-the-ground reporters, Paul reports on anything and everything happening in Queen's, the greater Belfast area, and beyond.

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