Oxford Brookes University today committed itself to providing an exceptional student experience and expanding routes into higher education, announcing it intends to charge Â£9,000 from September 2012.
The provision of an exceptional student experience and the expansion of routes into higher education have been put at the centre of Oxford Brookes' decision to charge £9,000 a year for tuition costs from September 2012.
The decision, taken by the governing body of the university following an extensive consultation with the Students’ Union, commits Oxford Brookes to improve and invest in all areas of student life.
As part of the decision the university will immediately introduce a £3.5 million scheme to provide enhanced bursaries of up to £2,000 and additionally fee reductions of up to £2,500 for students from low income groups.
The number of on-campus undergraduate students will be reduced by 10 to 15% ensuring more high quality contact time between students and staff.
This reduction will also enable Oxford Brookes to significantly expand the number of foundation degree programmes offered at further education colleges that mainly attract students from backgrounds and traditions that do not normally have high participation rates in higher education. These will be charged at £6,000 a year.
Taking all these measures into account the university expects the average fee level to be around £8,000. The university will continue to fund outreach programmes, support for care leavers and help those experiencing particular financial hardship.
Under the proposals, Oxford Brookes will be able to make far quicker improvements to campuses and infrastructure than previously planned. This will bring the university’s sites up to the standard of the best and complement the £132 million library and teaching building already under construction at Gipsy Lane.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer said:
“I firmly believe this is the right decision. It will lead us to focus even more on improving the qualities of a Brookes degree. We have made this choice in what we believe is the best interests of our students and the region we serve.
“This university has for a long time prided itself on its values and commitment to ensuring higher education is available to people on the basis of ability rather than finance. I believe, given the context, this decision lives up to those values. ”
President of Oxford Brookes’ Students’ Union, Lucie Acraman, said:
“We are pleased that the university has taken account of many of the issues raised by our students as part of their deliberations.
“Many of our students did not wish for the changes the Government is making but we are pleased with the overall decision the university has made. We are particularly reassured by the emphasis on both continuing to improve the student experience and the demonstrable commitment to widening access to higher education."
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