University of Reading statement on Government plans for student fees
Release Date 07 December 2010
The University of Reading has consistently campaigned against Government cuts to higher education funding and the concern of our staff and students in this regard is understandable.
The Government has now ended some of the uncertainty by announcing a funding package for higher education which will see the withdrawn state funding replaced by an increase in the payments graduates make once they have successfully launched their careers. In the light of decreasing state funding across the economy, this funding stream will at least allow universities to start planning for the future.
As part of these proposed changes, it is vital that talent and potential are the only factors that dictate attendance at university and that no-one is disadvantaged by their personal financial circumstances. A clear message must also go out to future generations that it is not the student who will be paying the fees, but the graduate, when he or she is earning sufficient to do so.
At the University of Reading, we offer wide-ranging programmes designed to widen participation in higher education, including outreach into schools, summer schools, scholarships and bursaries and we are committed to developing these further. Currently, we provide bursaries to almost 3000 students, around 40% of the University's UK full-time undergraduate and PGCE students, worth over £3.4m.
Part of the Government's proposals relate to access benchmarks to be set by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). We are keen to hear more detail on how this scheme will work at the earliest opportunity.
It seems likely that the next generation of students will be investing significantly in their futures. We are determined to provide them with the best advice as they make their decisions and to demonstrate that their investment will result in a high-quality education and an excellent student experience at Reading.