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University of Reading Access Agreement 2012/13 approved – University of Reading

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University of Reading Access Agreement 2012/13 approved

Release Date 12 July 2011

Tuition fee level and commitment to widening access to higher education approved by OFFA

The University of Reading is committed to fostering a diverse student body and ensuring academic success for all, regardless of background. These pillars of our widening participation work are enshrined in the University's Access Agreement 2012/13, which has been approved (12 July 2011) by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

For the academic year 2012/13, the University of Reading can confirm it will be charging £9000 for all full-time UK and EU students entering our undergraduate programmes in 2012. We are establishing an Access Fund of over £6 million to provide a suite of financial access packages and targeted outreach activity, which equates to re-distributing 31% of the tuition fee above the basic fee level set by Government of £6000 (the sector average is 26%).

The University has a strong record of working to ensure fees are not a disincentive to enter higher education and it will be continuing and further developing this role. In 2012, the University will contribute more than five-fold the minimum amount required to match the Government's new National Scholarship Programme to fund fee waivers up to £3000 and cash bursaries up to £1000 across all programmes, for those from low income households.  In addition, there will be a 50% fee waiver for both years of the Foundation Degree in Early Years Learning, which trains up to 50 people every year to work in nurseries, in conjunction with three local colleges.

The University will continue with its important outreach activity in the form of activities such as summer schools, campus visits, master classes, mentoring and tutoring with specific schemes designed to promote modern languages and Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects. Through a new Aspire Reading scheme, the University will work in partnership with schools and colleges in the region to target the ‘most able but least likely' to consider higher education students from Year 10 onwards.  It will allow the University to consider making a lower offer of admission for students who join the scheme and who agree to undertake a bespoke programme of activities including top-up courses, mentoring, and advice and guidance sessions. 

The University is also undertaking measures to improve the information available to prospective students, minimise drop-out rates, tracking, monitoring and resourcing our widening participation activity.

Professor Rob Robson, Pro-Vice Chancellor Teaching and Learning, at the University of Reading, said:  "We are committed to ensuring access to a high-quality academic experience regardless of background through the provision of a wide range of outreach initiatives and financial support measures. As with the current fees system, it is also important to note that no UK or EU undergraduate student will be expected to pay tuition fees up front.

"Students studying at Reading will be investing in a degree from a university ranked in the world's top 200. The University is consistently rated as one of the best for the quality of the student experience and we are committed to ensuring that all our students have work-based learning opportunities as part of their degree programme as well as the opportunity to broaden their international experience."

Further detail can be found at http://www.reading.ac.uk/Study/study-ug-fees2012.aspx

The University's Access Agreement can also be viewed at www.offa.org.uk

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