University of Reading plans to widen student access approved
Release Date 24 July 2014
The University of Reading's Access Agreement for 2015/16 was formally approved by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) today.
The agreement outlines how the University will spend in the region of £6 million supporting students from under-represented groups to both enter and succeed in higher education.
Reading continues to meet its targets for recruiting more students from state schools, minority ethnic backgrounds and working class families and is now committing more resources to ensuring all its students go on to successful careers regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds.
Of the University's intake of UK full-time undergraduates in 2013/14, 86% came from state schools, 25% were from working-class social backgrounds, and 7% came from areas where very few people have been educated to a university level - all exceeding targeted levels.
Now the University is balancing its commitment to help students from less well-represented backgrounds get to university, with an increased focus on supporting those students to achieve their full potential during and after their time at Reading. This is likely to include:
- investment in opportunities and bursaries for work placements
- internships and work experience
- career mentoring schemes.
In the wake of the government's withdrawal of the National Scholarship Programme a proportion of the £6 million will be used to provide annual cash bursaries for around 2,500 students from low-income households. The University will also continue with its important outreach activity in the form of activities such as summer schools, master classes, mentoring and tutoring with the aim of raising the aspirations of people from under-represented groups to seek out a university education.
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "Our mission is to attract students from all backgrounds, set academic expectations and make sure they achieve their potential - regardless of their personal circumstances.
"We are targeting investment better through financial support, outreach programmes and career development schemes to make sure all our graduates are equipped for the workplace or further study."
For the academic year 2015/16, the University of Reading will continue to charge £9,000 for all full-time UK and EU students entering its undergraduate degree courses, but will spend 27% of all tuition fee income above £6,000 to fund its access programme.
Further details can be found on the University's student finance web pages
The University's Access Agreement can also be viewed at offa.org.uk.