Tuition Fees To Rise

15 March 2011, 14:19 | Updated: 15 March 2011, 14:29

Oxford University say they'll be charging students the maximum 9 thousand pounds from next year - but poorer students will pay LESS

Oxford University have told Heart they'll be offering reductions and bursaries when the fees go up next year.

First-year Oxford students from the lowest income households will have their tuition charges limited to £3,500 from 2012-13, repayable after graduation, under proposals approved on Monday 14 March by the University’s Council.

Annual charges would be between £3,500 and £9,000 (with lower charges achieved through waivers). Over £15m a year would be spent on financial support and access through tuition charge waivers, bursaries, and outreach work.

Proposed charges

In order to ensure that potential debt aversion is not a barrier to students from poorer backgrounds applying to Oxford, the proposals include a system of generous tuition charge waivers.

Around one in six Oxford students (16%) would benefit from waivers, based on the current student mix. Around one in ten (9.4%) would get the highest waiver and so the lowest effective tuition charge of £3,500 in the first and £6,000 thereafter.

Tuition charges for 2012 entry (after waivers applied)

Household income

Tuition charge for first year of study

Tuition charge for subsequent years

£0 - £16,000
£16,001 - £20,000
£20,001 - £25,000
£25,001 +

Oxford is also expanding its generous bursary provision, which assists students with living costs, and is designed to ensure that no student has to seek paid employment during term. First-year students from the lowest income households would receive a bursary of £4,300, dropping to £3,300 in subsequent years. Students up to household incomes of £42,000 would receive a bursary on a sliding scale.

Overall, the collegiate University will continue to meet out of its own resources almost half the real annual cost of £16,000 of educating an undergraduate at Oxford – a subsidy of around £77m a year benefitting every UK and EU student, regardless of background.

The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: “These proposals show the strength of our commitment to being accessible for all, and to attracting the very brightest students, whatever their circumstances. We have paid particular attention to concerns about debt aversion among potential students from the lowest income backgrounds. Overall, most of the real additional income to Oxford in this package would go straight into new student support.”

He added: “The changes to the financing of higher education – including the deeply regrettable cuts to teaching funding – present a real challenge to maintaining the excellence in teaching and research that distinguishes the world’s best universities. Here at Oxford we will still be spending around £77m a year in subsidising the true cost of an undergraduate education.

“Investment in the long-term sustainability of our world-leading institutions should be a major national priority. It is not an issue that will go away.”

Oxford’s student funding arrangements will form part of the agreement to be concluded with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA). The agreement is being finalised by the University and will develop plans to widen access to Oxford from groups that are currently under-represented – whether they are particular schools and colleges, particular neighbourhoods, people from disadvantaged backgrounds, or people with disabilities.

Oxford is proposing to invest £19m in total in support and outreach, of which £7m is new spend. That £19m breaks down into £12m on financial support, £3.4m on outreach, and £3.5m in on-course support services.