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Oxford's student support most generous in country
07 Dec 11
Oxford offers the best no-strings financial support package for the poorest students from 2012, analysis of an independent website and app shows.
The Independent Taskforce on Student Finance Information has compiled a summary of all English university undergraduate financial support packages for 2012.
An analysis of the app's contents shows Oxford has the most generous no-strings-attached financial support for the lowest-income students of any university in the country – worth over £22,000 over three years.
There are some other universities with equally eye-catching top-level packages, but only for limited numbers of specifically defined students. Oxford's package stands out because it is automatic and based on income only.
The app and website have been widely circulated now that all English universities have confirmed their final undergraduate tuition charge and student support arrangements. Last week the Office for Fair Access (Offa), the government’s higher education access watchdog, approved requests by 24 universities to revise their fee and funding packages to take advantage of new rules allowing them to expand. Overall, fees have been reduced in 11 institutions, while fee waivers or special discounts have risen by £37.4m. But bursaries and scholarships as a result of the revisions are down by £13.8m. Oxford did not amend its package.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton
We are sending a clear message: If you have the ability to study at Oxford, we’ll ensure money is no barrier.
Oxford University Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton said: ‘Oxford’s financial package is worth over £22,000 over three years for the lowest-income students. ‘We are sending a clear message: If you have the ability to study at Oxford, we’ll ensure money is no barrier.
‘Our approach deliberately combines fee waivers and bursaries in order to provide successful applicants with the support they need – whether it’s help with upfront living costs or in overcoming possible longer-term debt aversion.
‘Oxford is offering a world-class intensive tutorial education, and day-to-day costs are no more than at other universities – in fact, our world-class facilities and college provision keep costs down.
‘With our educational excellence and our financial support package, Oxford represents not just quality, but affordability too.’
All students with household incomes below £16,000 are eligible for the maximum support, and all students with household incomes below £42,600 are eligible for some support. Oxford expects one quarter of all students to get some form of support (around 2,500 students based on current student numbers). Oxford estimates one in ten undergraduates will get the maximum support (around 1,000 students based on current student numbers).
Oxford will spend over £11m on financial support, student services and outreach in the first year of the new arrangements alone (2012-13). This spend will increase as more cohorts come under the new regime. Oxford will spend more of its “additional fee income” (fee income over £6,000) on access than any other university in England (50%) – nearly double the sector average.