• Thursday 27 January 2011
  • No. 4941
  • Vol 141

Congregation8 February

8 February, 2 p.m.

Undergraduate Funding and Support from 2012/13: Topic for Discussion

A Congregation Discussion will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 8 February 2011 in the Sheldonian Theatre. The topic will be undergraduate funding and support (including the level of the Home/EU undergraduate fee) from 2012/13 in the context of the new financial arrangements for higher education approved by Parliament in December 2010 (with further legislative decisions by Parliament to follow). Views expressed at the Discussion will be taken into account by Council when it deliberates on these matters at its meeting in week 9 (14 March). Factual information to facilitate the Discussion will be provided on the Congregation website at In accordance with the regulation governing topics for discussion, no vote will be taken but Council will be required to give consideration to the remarks made.

As the University's Access Agreement for 2012/13 must be submitted to the Office of Fair Access (OFFA) by 31 March 2011, the timetable within which to decide upon a fee level and the associated student support and access arrangements is tight. Notwithstanding this limitation, Council agreed at its meeting on 17 January 2011 that all those within the collegiate University wishing to contribute to the deliberations should be given an opportunity to do so, and that a Congregation Discussion would be central to this consultation process.

After the Congregation Discussion, the issues will be developed through College and Divisional structures. In terms of the fee level, the Conference of Colleges, Divisional Boards, Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (PRAC) and Education Committee will reflect on the issues in the second half of Hilary term. PRAC will then synthesise the views expressed in each of these fora and will make recommendations for decision by Council at its meeting in week 9 (14 March); and the necessary regulation will be published in the Gazette on 17 March 2011. The Education Committee will undertake a similar exercise in respect of student financial support and widening access arrangements and will draft the terms of Oxford’s Access Agreement, also for approval by Council in week 9, and for submission to OFFA by 31 March 2011.

Those wishing to speak in the Discussion will be expected to limit their contributions to five minutes. As the Discussion will close at 4.30 p.m., it may not be possible to call all those who wish to speak. If you wish to speak in the Discussion, you are asked to indicate this intention in advance by emailing It would be helpful if you also explain briefly (in no more than twenty-five words) what issues you wish to cover. Names of those who have indicated a wish to speak, together with the issues they wish to raise, will be published on the Congregation website ( as they are received. This sharing of information may be of use both to other speakers and to those considering attending; it will also be used to provide some logical structure to the order in which speakers are called. Speakers are asked to provide their information as soon as possible, and by noon on Friday, 4 February, at the latest, if they wish to be scheduled to speak. If time permits, those who have not indicated in advance an intention to speak will still be free to do so. The Vice-Chancellor will also invite nominated representatives of the Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) to speak.

It is intended that a verbatim transcript of the Discussion will be published in the Gazette on 17 February and, as soon as practicable after the Discussion, on the Congregation website ( It is also intended to make a downloadable recording available on the same site. As a result of time constraints, it will not be possible to check the verbatim report of the proceedings with individual speakers before publication. Speakers are therefore asked to provide their written texts, if available, to Mrs Ceri Benton, Council Secretariat, on the day of the Discussion, or to email them to her ( by 5 p.m. on 9 February.

Attendance at the Discussion is open to members of Congregation and to those nominated representatives of OUSU confirmed by the Vice-Chancellor as speaking at the Discussion. Admittance to the Theatre will be on the production of a valid University card and will be on a first-come, first-served basis (places will be reserved for scheduled speakers). The doors of the Sheldonian Theatre will open at 1.30 p.m; there will be a live audio broadcast of the meeting in the Cecil Jackson Room (in the basement of the Sheldonian Theatre) for attendees who do not gain admittance to the main Theatre (subject to space). The wearing of gowns is optional on this occasion.

Congregation10 March


Audit and Scrutiny Committee

Curators of the Sheldonian Theatre

Humanities Divisional Board

Details are in 'Elections' section below.

Note on procedures in Congregation

¶ Business in Congregation is conducted in accordance with Congregation Regulations 2 of 2002 ( A printout of these regulations, or of any statute or other regulations, is available from the Council Secretariat on request. A member of Congregation seeking advice on questions relating to its procedures, other than elections, should contact Miss S. Cowburn at the University Offices, Wellington Square (telephone: (2)70193; email:; questions relating to elections should be directed to the Elections Officer, Ms S.L. Stacey (telephone: (2)80463, email: