University's Access Agreement 2014/15
Release Date 11 July 2013
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 2014/15, which was approved on Thursday 11 July by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).
For the academic year 2014/15, the University of Reading will charge £9,000 for all full-time UK and EU students entering our undergraduate programmes in 2014 and establish an Access Fund of over £6.5 million to provide a suite of financial access packages and targeted outreach activity for outreach, retention and success. This equates to reinvesting 27% of tuition fees above £6,000 to support access and an increase of one percentage point above the level of expenditure planned for this period in our previous Access Agreement.
The University has a strong record of working to ensure fees are not a disincentive to enter higher education. In 2014/15, we will be investing nearly three quarters of our access funding to create 700 awards of up to £3000 for every year of study.¹ This funding is available to students from households in England with incomes of less than £25,000.
There will also be awards for postgraduate teacher training students², as well as students starting Foundation Degree in Early Years Learning or BA Children's Development and Learning programme³. As part of our on-going commitment to care-leaver students, there will also be additional financial support available.
The University will be investing £2 million in outreach, retention and success during 2014/15. The main focus of outreach work aims to increase the proportion of students who come to study at Reading from areas with traditionally low participation in higher education. We will be working with target schools and colleges to achieve this. The Reading Scholars Scheme, which includes academic and study skills sessions, student shadowing, a summer school and e-mentoring will be a key plank of this activity. The University is also focusing on ensuring that these students are successful when they come to Reading.
Professor Gavin Brooks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching & Learning, said: "We have a strong record of 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 to ensure they 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."
Further information about studying at University of Reading can be found at http://www.reading.ac.uk/Study/study-ug.aspx
The University's Access Agreement can also be viewed at www.offa.org.uk
¹ For Years 1-3. There will also be 150 awards for year 4.
For postgraduate teacher training students, eligible students from households with annual incomes of less than £16,000 will receive an award worth £500; students from households with annual incomes between £16,000 and £25,000 will receive an award worth £250.
³Foundation Degree Fee Waivers: Students entering our Foundation Degree in Early Years Learning or our BA Children's Development and Learning programme will receive a 50 % fee waiver; this waiver applies to both years of the Foundation Degree.