Oxford Brookes to reinvest in its students following proposed changes to university fees

Thursday, 01 September 2016

Oxford Brookes to reinvest in its students

Oxford Brookes University has committed to further investing in the student experience following its decision to charge all full-time UK/EU undergraduate students who started their study after 1 September 2012 tuition fees of £9,250 from 2017/18*.

Existing tuition fee levels have remained the same for four years and have now reduced in value by more than five per cent in real terms.

Significant University investment over this period has ranged from the award-winning John Henry Brookes Building and Abercrombie Extension - which have transformed the learning environment - to continued financial support as part of widening participation commitments.

The decision by the University for tuition fees to increase to £9,250 for all students who started their study after 1 September 2012 from 2017/18* will allow Oxford Brookes to increase this investment and further support its commitment to providing an exceptional student experience.

Previous discussions with student representatives have been helpful in identifying areas where the University can further invest in the student experience. It has therefore been agreed that a proportion of the additional funds received will be invested directly into enhanced provision of mentoring for students by alumni. This is already an area of great strength in a number of subject areas at Oxford Brookes and enhancing this provision and rolling it out more widely will have significant benefits for our students, as well as for the sectors in which our graduates go on to work.

This uplift in fees will also enable continued investment in other priority areas targeted at improving the student experience, such as our ten year estate investment plan. This will see the creation of further buildings, spaces and infrastructure which match the University’s top quality teaching, support and research.

Students do not have to pay for tuition up front and don’t start to pay until they graduate and are earning at least £21,000 a year. The new £9,250 tuition fee* will be covered by a loan from the Student Loan Company, in line with its published repayment terms and conditions.

It is also important to stress that eligible Oxford Brookes students will still be able to apply for our bursaries and additional financial support packages. The University remains committed to its goal of widened participation in higher education, which is at the heart of our Strategy and values of equality, inclusivity and the celebration of diversity are the foundation for all we do.

The Office for Fair Access (OFFA), an independent public body that regulates fair access to higher education in England, recently approved Oxford Brookes’ proposed fee changes and accompanying access agreement. This is in line with OFFA’s commitment to promoting and safeguarding fair access to higher education for people from lower income backgrounds and other underrepresented groups.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt said: “I strongly believe that this decision is in the best interest of our students and the University more widely. Oxford Brookes has, for a number of years, invested heavily in its campuses, infrastructure, teaching and learning and support provision and I hear on a daily basis from students and alumni who have benefited from this.

“This new fee level for all UK/EU undergraduate students who started their study after 1 September 2012 from 2017/18* will mean that we can further reinvest in our students and improve not only the quality of their degree, but also the legacy of their qualification at Oxford Brookes as we continue to enhance our reputation locally, nationally and internationally.

“We will continue to engage with our student body to decide the best ways in which we can reinvest in their university. We also remain committed to ensuring education is available to all and we have committed to investing over £7.5 million in expenditure in access, student success, progression and financial support for under-represented students in 2017/18 alone.

“This is why I believe the University has made the right decision and I look forward to seeing Oxford Brookes, and its students, continuing to thrive over the coming years.”

The University has created a set of Frequently Asked Questions with further information on proposed changes to fees.

* Whilst these inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval and the University meeting expectations in the new Teaching Excellence Framework. Further information is available in the Minister of State for Universities and Science’s written statement from 21 July 2016. If you join us as an EU student in 2017/18 you will not move to International level fees, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law.