University of Reading Access Agreement 2013/14 approved
Release Date 26 July 2012
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 2013/14, which has been approved on Monday 23 July by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).
For the academic year 2013/14, the University of Reading will charge £9,000 for all full-time UK and EU students entering our undergraduate programmes in 2013 and establish an Access Fund of over £6 million to provide a suite of financial access packages and targeted outreach activity, which equates to almost 26% of the tuition fee above £6,000.
The University has a strong record of working to ensure fees are not a disincentive to enter higher education. In the past five years, the University has invested £3.3 million in bursaries and scholarships¹. In 2013/14, awards up to £3000 will be available for students from households in England with incomes of less than £25,000.²
Postgraduate Initial Teacher Training (ITT) students with household incomes less than £16,000 will receive an award worth £500. 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. As part of the University's on-going commitment to care-leaver students, we also intend to supplement the standard provision under the National Scholarship Programme with additional financial support.
In consultation with Reading University Students Union (RUSU), we have committed to offering all students in receipt of either the NSP or Reading Bursaries the choice of how they receive this support. This will be delivered in a way that permits students to use them flexibly, such as for fee waivers, accommodation, childcare, books, work placement costs etc.
Professor Gavin Brooks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching & Learning, said: "We have a strong record in attracting students from a wide variety of backgrounds in the UK and beyond, and in supporting them to achieve success regardless of their personal circumstances.
"A key part of the University's mission is to educate talented people well so they can achieve their full potential. Widening access allows us to recruit and retain the highest quality students and to maintain our reputation for academic excellence. A key priority for the coming years will be to improve access for students from low participation neighbourhoods through intensive, targeted outreach work."
The Reading Scholars Scheme, for selected year 12 students in target schools and colleges, will deliver an intensive outreach package of subject-specific support focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and modern foreign languages. It will include student shadowing opportunities, allowing school and college pupils to spend a day in a higher education environment, attending lectures and experiencing other parts of University life.
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. However, we are also focusing on ensuring that Widening Participation students are successful when they come to Reading.
Further details can be found on the University's student finance web pages.
The University's Access Agreement can also be viewed at www.offa.org.uk
Further information from Alex Brannen, Head of Media & Public Relations: 0118 378 8005 / email@example.com
Notes to editors:
- Full-time undergraduate students - £9,000 per annum for 2013/14 entrants
- Part-time undergraduate students will be charged on a pro rata basis plus 10%. A half time student would pay, for example, £4,950 p.a.
- All students who started before 1 September 2012 and are continuing their undergraduate studies will be charged at the appropriate rate for their year of entry.
¹ Report by OFFA/HEFCE - 2006/7 - 2010-11, Access agreement and widening participation strategic assessment monitoring: outcomes for 2010-11)
² In 2013/14, students from England and from households with annual incomes of less than £25,000 will receive generous financial support. Up to 500 can apply for a £3,000 award from the National Scholarship Programme (NSP), distributed on the basis of the lowest household income, while the Reading Bursary Scheme will provide a £1,000 award for those not receiving the NSP award (up to a maximum of 200). Eligible students can also apply for awards in their second, third and fourth years (worth £1,000).