- Key general facts and figures for 2012-13
- Student retention and success
- Financial support
- The main types of financial support
- Bursary criteria
- Examples of financial support in 2012-13
- What universities and colleges spend on bursaries and scholarships
- What universities and colleges spend on outreach
For students starting their studies in the academic year 2012-13:
- the maximum annual tuition fee (chargeable with an access agreement) is £9,000 for full-time courses and £6,750 for part-time courses
- the basic annual fee (chargeable without an access agreement) is £6,000 for full-time courses and £4,500 for part-time courses
- the average ‘headline’ full-time fee (i.e. before fee waivers) is £8,385
- the average fee that full-time students will be charged (i.e. after fee waivers) is £8,123
- the full state maintenance grant is £3,250
- the threshold for the full maintenance grant is a household income of £25,000
- the threshold for a partial maintenance grant is a household income of £42,600.
Please note that there are different fees and state support thresholds for ‘continuing’ students and for students on sandwich work placements or study years abroad. For more detail, see our tables showing Fee and bursary limits (including exceptions) and state support thresholds.
A total of 383 institutions have approved access agreements for 2012-13. This total consists of:
- 124 higher education institutions
- 25 further education colleges
- 55 school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) providers.
Our most recent monitoring of access agreement activity shows that in 2010-11 universities and colleges spent £43.7 million on outreach activities (e.g. summer schools to give people a taste of university life, or masterclasses to help them get better grades at school). This was a 15 per cent increase from £39.6 million in 2009-10.
Universities and colleges plan to invest £79.9 million on outreach measures in 2012-13. This will increase to £95.9 million in 2013-14 and £110.6 million in 2016-17. For details of an individual institution’s spending plans please refer to its access agreement.
Examples of outreach measures in 2012-13
Pathways to Law is a national programme delivered by seven universities, which helps young learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to get places at competitive law schools and go on to a career in law. It includes academic sessions that help students to find out which areas of law they are most interested in and thus which course would suit them. The scheme also provides work placements, and focused information, advice and guidance to help them make competitive applications. An annual national conference allows members to experience being part of an academic community and to develop social skills.
Imperial College London runs an outreach scheme targeted at disadvantaged children who are good at science, to encourage and enable them to apply to study science at a selective university. It includes mentoring, academic activities and revision support.
The University of Brighton offers local young people mentoring by its undergraduate students, in a subject relating to the mentor’s degree.
Universities and colleges plan to invest £54.9 million in 2012-13 on measures to improve student retention and success (e.g. pastoral support to enable students to complete their courses, and measures to improve students’ employability once they graduate). This will increase to £81 million in 2013-14 and £101.6 million in 2016-17.
Expenditure on retention was first included in access agreements in 2012-13. For details of an individual institution’s spending plans please refer to its access agreement.
Examples of retention measures in 2012-13
Edge Hill University has invested in research that identified poor attendance as a key indicator of ‘at risk’ students. It has therefore improved its tracking and monitoring processes so that students who are missing classes can be identified and helped at an early stage. The university has also changed its induction process, revised its personal tutorial system to give more opportunities for direct contact and reviewed the way students are assessed and given feedback on their work.
At the University of Kent, first year students are paired with mentors from the second and third year who offer support; wherever possible, these are students who attended the same school.
- bursaries range from £100 to £9,000 for a single academic year
- all institutions charging more than the basic tuition fee are obliged to offer National Scholarship Programme (NSP) awards of at least £3,000 to first-year students with a household income of £25,000 (institutions may also use their own targeting criteria). More information on the NSP.
- universities and colleges plan to invest a total of £442.2 million in financial support (bursaries, scholarships, fee waivers, accommodation discounts etc). This includes expenditure under the Government’s National Scholarship Programme and comprises:
- £93.7 million on fee waivers
- £340.7 million on bursaries and scholarships
- £7.8 million in ‘student choice’ support, where the student can choose how they receive the money (e.g. as a bursary, waiver, discount or other type of award).
There are three main types of financial support:
- bursaries, which may be either a fixed amount offered to all students who meet certain criteria, or may be offered on a sliding scale, e.g. linked to the level of state support the student receives
- fee waivers (a discount on the tuition fee charged)
- ‘in-kind’ support, e.g. discounted accommodation, free entrance to sports facilities, or credit that the student can spend on campus facilities such as childcare or printing.
For case studies of different types of financial support see ‘Examples of financial support in 2012-13‘ below.
All institutions charging more than the basic tuition fee are obliged to offer National Scholarship Programme (NSP) awards of at least £3,000 to first-year students with a household income of £25,000 (institutions may also use their own targeting criteria). More information on the NSP.
In addition, 114 higher education institutions (92 per cent) are offering other bursaries and scholarships aimed at students from under-represented groups. The criteria used are:
- students’ household or family income
- students who have spent time in local authority care
- academic merit
- the school or college that the student went to
- where the student lives, e.g. if they grew up in a neighbourhood where not many people go to university
- subject studied
Here are some examples of the main types of financial support (see ‘The main types of financial support’ above). For full details of all the financial support offered by the universities and colleges mentioned below, see their individual access agreements for 2012-13.
The Royal Northern College of Music provides bursaries of £1,130 to all students who receive the full state maintenance grant (i.e. those with household incomes up to £25,000).
Gateshead 3-7 SCITT gives £100 to each student achieving 60 credits at Masters Level to provide an incentive to prospective trainee teachers from low income families, males and black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
‘Sliding scale’ bursaries
The University of Exeter’s Access to Exeter bursary is scaled according to household income as follows:
|Household income||Bursary value|
The University of Nottingham offers the following Core Bursary to students on low incomes:
|Household income||Bursary value|
Some universities and colleges give awards to students who live locally or in areas classed as having relative deprivation, or known to have low participation in higher education.
University College Falmouth will be focusing its National Scholarship Programme allocation on Cornish residents, offering 47 awards of £6,000 each. £1,000 of this will be a cash bursary, the remaining £5,000 can be used as a fee waiver, a discount on accommodation costs, on-campus credit or a combination decided by the recipients.
Awards for care leavers
An increasing number of universities and colleges recognise that students leaving local authority care are particularly under-represented in higher education.
Liverpool John Moores University’s Looked-After Children Bursary (the John Lennon Imagine Award) offers at least £1,000 per year of their course to students who have either been in local authority care or who are estranged from their parents.
Many universities and colleges also give awards to students studying subjects that are of strategic importance (at a national or institutional level), have particular issues around fair access, or are recognised as under-subscribed subjects.
Brunel University offers a £1,000 cash award every year for three years to maths students with A-level grades of at least AAB (with an A in maths or further maths), or 35 points from the International Baccalaureate Diploma, including grade 7 in higher level maths. They must maintain at least an upper second class honours standard at the end of each academic year to keep receiving the award, which is called the Mathematical Sciences Scholarship.
To help widen access to professional careers, King’s College London offers first year fee waivers of £9,000 (in other words, a free first year) to up to 85 undergraduate students who are studying certain courses it has designated as ‘Access to Professions’ programmes and who are from lower income backgrounds.
Sparsholt College’s new Sparsholt College Bursary, available to students with household incomes of less than £25,000 but who don’t receive a National Scholarship Programme award, includes £500 towards accommodation and/or transport, as well as a £1,000 fee waiver.
Our most recent monitoring of access agreement activity shows that in 2010-11:
- HEIs spent £378.1 million on bursaries and scholarships for students from lower income and other under-represented groups, up from £363.5 million in 2009-10
- the vast majority of this money (80.8 per cent) was spent on students from the lowest income group (i.e. those in receipt of a full grant)
- nearly three-quarters (74.1 per cent) of this £378.1 million went to students from the very lowest income group, helping more than 320,000 students with a household income of less than £25,000
- overall, 432,000 students from lower income and other under-represented groups received a bursary or scholarship.