Undergraduate fees 2012/13
The following questions and answers have been prepared to help explain the proposed student fee increases for entry in the academic year 2012/13.
- Fees at the University of Reading 2012/13
- General information about the Government's new tuition fees
- Loans and repayments
- Student financial support
- Who will pay the new tuition fees?
- Places at the University of Reading
- Where can I find out more?
Fees at the University of Reading 2012/13
- What fee level will the University of Reading be charging?
The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) has approved the University's Access Agreement and the University can confirm it will be charging £9,000 per year from academic year 2012/13.
- Why is the University charging £9,000?
The Government has introduced higher tuition fees to provide universities with replacement income for the withdrawal of state funding for higher education. The government has removed 80% of the teaching grant for universities, which has, up until now, provided funding for universities to teach undergraduate programmes and offer a high-quality student experience.
In order to continue to provide all our students with the highest quality experience, support students in financial hardship and continue to develop wider access to the University, we need to charge £9,000, which in effect replaces the loss in state funding. We take pride in the excellence of the student experience we provide: the high-quality, research-led teaching, excellent facilities and a comprehensive range of student support services have led our students to consistently score us highly in the National Student Survey.
- Will this be the fee for all undergraduate programmes?
Yes, for all UK and EU students enrolled on full-time undergraduate programmes entering the University in 2012.
- Will students who are in their second or third years in 2012 be paying the new fee level?
No. The new fee level will be introduced for first years from 2012 onwards. Those already at the University of Reading will not incur the new charges. Students transferring from another institution to Reading will be liable for the higher fee. Individual students who have queries should contact the Student Financial Support team.
- Will students pay £9,000 even for a year abroad?
No. As a result of recent developments by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Office for Fair Access, and in anticipation of government policy regarding the likely withdrawal of the Erasmus fee waiver, the University has approved a revised "year away" fee for students entering relevant degree programmes at the University in 2012/13. This "year away" fee will be 15% of the full tuition fee and is applicable for both Home/EU and International students. Thus, based on a £9,000 tuition fee for Home/EU students, this would be £1,350; however, please note that tuition fees are usually subject to annual inflation, so this amount may be slightly higher come 2014/15 (their year abroad).
- Will you offer any financial support for less well off students?
It is important to note that, as now, no student will have to find the funds for tuition fees up front or during their period of study. Tuition fee loans are available and are only paid back after graduating.
The University of Reading exists to educate talented people, regardless of their background or financial means. We are committed to ensuring that ability and potential are the only criteria for entry to University at Reading.
The University will be establishing an Access Fund of £6 million to provide a suite of financial access packages and targeted outreach activity in 2012/13, which equates to 31% of the tuition fee above £6,000 (the University is investing considerably more than many universities in widening access - the average among higher education institutions is 26%). As part of this commitment, the University will contribute more than five-fold the minimum amount required to match the Government's new National Scholarship Programme.
Reading bursaries from 2012
For full-time undergraduate students from England entering in 2012/13 we will provide a package of fee waivers and cash bursaries where household income is less than £42,000.
(Year 1 entrants)
£0 - £16,001
- Foundation Degree in Early Years Learning - 50% fee waiver for both years of the programme
- Pre-entry travel bursaries for students from low areas of participation in higher education of up to £300
- Pre-entry travel bursaries for students with disabilities of up to £500
In addition, the University has a range of scholarships and bursaries including music scholarships, sports scholarships, Dangoor scholarships (UK students only) and alumni and Vice-Chancellor bursaries. See Student Financial Support website for more details
Why study at Reading in 2012?
The University is ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world. We have an international reputation for:
- The quality of our teaching and research
- The strength of our relationships with business
- Our commitment to maintaining a supportive, challenging and high-quality experience for our students
- Ensuring all our undergraduate students have the opportunity for a work-based learning placement
- Providing our students with the opportunity to broaden their international experience
- We have invested almost £400 million in the student experience in the last 10 years, including £100 million on new student accommodation.
- Nearly 90% of our research has been designated of international standing.
- Our students consistently rank us in the top quartile of the National Student Satisfaction survey.
- 70% of our graduates from 2010 are in graduate level work or further study. 92% of graduates describe themselves as being in work, voluntary or unpaid work or further study in the latest study
General information about the Government's new tuition fees
- When will higher fees be introduced?
The academic year 2012/13.
- Is funding for arts and humanities and social sciences being withdrawn by Government?
One common misconception, which arose from the reporting of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review last October, is that there is no public funding for students of the arts, humanities and social sciences. This is not true. All students, whatever their programme of study, will have their fees paid directly to the university by the Government at the point of entry to university. Some modest additional public funding may then be provided to universities to support students of certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects, in recognition of the fact that many of these subjects are more expensive to teach than are most arts, humanities and social sciences.
Loans and repayments
- Will we need to pay the fees up front?
As now, it is not the student that pays but the graduate. Government will provide the money up front for any eligible student in England who secures a place in higher education. This would be provided in the form of a loan to cover the full amount of their tuition costs. Graduates would only start to pay back the fees once they were in work and their salary was above £21,000. If they were not working or the salary was lower, they would not pay.
- How long will it take to repay the loan?
It depends on the size of the loan and income. If it is not paid off after 30 years, it will be written off after that time.
- Who can apply for a loan?
The tuition loan is available to all eligible students who live in England and are studying for their first degree or other higher education course.
- What are the repayments likely to be?
The Government have produced the following indicative figures. The repayment is paid on 9% of income above £21,000. For example, on £25,000, the 9% would be payable on £4000, meaning repayments would be £30 per month:-
- On a graduate salary of £30,000 - fees payment would be £68 per month.
- At £40,000, it would incur a monthly payment of £143.
- At £50,000, it would incur a monthly payment of £218
- Will the loans be interest free?
No. The Government is introducing a real rate of interest. For graduates earning between £21,000 and £41,000, a staged rate of interest will be charged up to a maximum of inflation plus 3%. Above £41,000, the interest rate will be 3% + inflation. .
- Can a home/EU student pay the fees up front and avoid loans and graduate contributions?
Yes. As now, a student does not need to take out a loan.
- Will a graduate be able to pay off their loan more quickly than the Government announced (30 year period)?
The Government has said that it is considering some form of early redemption payment (similar to paying off a mortgage early) to ensure better off graduates are not able to benefit from paying off their loan more quickly than the less well off.
- How can I apply for a loan?
You can apply for a loan (and non-repayable grants) online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance or by calling Student Finance England on 0845 300 50 90.
- When do I need to apply?
You can apply in late 2011 or early 2012. You don't need to wait until you've been formally offered a place.
- How does the money for my course get paid to the University?
The loan will be paid directly to the University. It isn't paid by the student. When you register at University you will need to take in a form which will trigger the payment to be made directly to the University.
- When will I start repaying the loan?
If you have been studying full-time, you will start repaying the loan from April of the year after you leave University, but only if you are earning more than £21,000 per annum. Payments will normally be taken directly from your salary, as per income tax.
Student financial support
- Does the University have a financial support scheme to help students with the increased fees?
We have a strong record in providing student financial support at the University of Reading and we strongly believe that fees must not be a disincentive for talented young people who are considering applying to university. (see first section)
- What is the National Scholarship Scheme?
The Government has announced it is introducing a National Scholarship Scheme, with universities that charge more than £6,000 for a degree programme providing matched funding to support students from less affluent backgrounds. The University of Reading will be funding these scholarships at five times the minimum level requested by Government and will ensure almost £6 million is available to support access to university.
- What is happening with regard to financial help for living allowances?
The Government has announced a non-repayable maintenance grant for students from families with incomes up to £25,000 of £3,250. Those from families with incomes up to £42,600 will be entitled to a partial grant, ranging from £50 to £3, 250, according to family income. These grants are available to cover living costs such as accommodation, food, travel and course materials. Students don't have to pay these grants back. Students apply online at the same time as applying for the student (tuition fees) loan. The living costs grants are paid in three instalments, at the start of each term.
Students can apply for a maintenance loan for every year they are studying, of a minimum of £3,575 (for those living away from home). Beyond that and up to a maximum of £5,500, loans will be assessed on household income. The amount of maintenance loan available is reduced if a student is receiving a maintenance grant.
There will also be increases in maintenance loans for students from families with incomes from £42,000 to £60,000. Repayments will be made in the same way as the tuition fee loans are repaid, when graduate are earning over £21,000 a year.
You will be able to calculate your entitlement by using the calculator tool available on the DirectGov website www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance.
- Are there opportunities for part-time study funded by student loans?
There will be loans, for the first time, for part-time students studying for at least 25% of the full-time equivalent. The tuition loan replaces the previous means-tested fee grant and study grant. It is not means-tested. Part-time students will not be entitled to a loan or grant to cover living costs.
Who will pay the new tuition fees?
- Will I still have to pay the new fee level if I defer my entry from 2011 to 2012?
Yes. We wrote to all our prospective students who have a place for 2011 but have chosen to defer until 2012 as under the new arrangements they will pay the new level of fee when they commence their course in 2012. They were given the option of starting their courses in 2011. The deadline for responses has now passed.
- Will an increase in undergraduate fees also lead to an increase in postgraduate fees?
The Government's recently announced increase in the graduate contribution is only relevant to undergraduate programmes for Home and EU students. While it does not impact on postgraduate programmes, which are set separately by each university, the University of Reading will be reviewing fees for its postgraduate programmes on an ongoing basis.
- If I normally live in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland, will I have to take out a loan for the tuition fees?
No, students who live in these countries but want to study in England will receive financial support from the Welsh Assembly, Northern Ireland Executive or Scottish Government, as appropriate.
- Does an increase in fees for home students mean that international students will be paying the same rate or see their fees rise?
No. The fees increase proposals announced by the British Government are for UK and EU students only. It does not affect students from outside the EU.
- Will EU students have to pay the increased fees?
Yes, the fees apply to all Home and EU students. EU students will also have access to a loan to cover the cost of the tuition fees.
- Why do students from outside the EU pay different fees to UK and EU students?
The course fees for all students are essentially the same, however the UK and EU governments subsidise the fees for home and EU students from taxes paid within the EU. As students from outside the EU do not contribute to these taxes, they are not eligible for the subsidy.
The increase in fees for home and EU students has arisen as the subsidy paid by the UK and EU governments is being reduced.
- The fee for International students for 2012 will be:
Band 1 £11,440
Band 2 £13,645
Places at the University of Reading
- Will there be more places available in 2011 and is the University expecting a rush of applications to beat the new fees introduction?
- Will the University be increasing its student numbers in 2012 as part of the new market?
- Are you expecting more local students as the price of going to university goes up? Will the University be doing more to encourage local students?
We do not expect the government to fund extra places in 2011 and we are expecting a rise in applications for 2011, making entry in September 2011 more competitive than usual.
The Government has recently published its White Paper on higher education which includes an intention to remove the cap from universities in a number of ways. At this stage, it is too early for the University of Reading to know how this will impact on places available in subjects where AAB is an entrance requirement.
Higher fees may well encourage more people to study at their local university. The University has a proactive widening participation agenda in the region.
The University will be continuing much of the excellent work undertaken in recent years by Aimhigher Berkshire, which is being discontinued by Government, and for whom the University is the lead in Berkshire. We will be building on the work that has seen 46% of the 2875 local students in the scheme apply and gain entry to a wide range of universities.
The University is committed to spending a minimum of 11% of the Access Fund on outreach activity and raising that proportion progressively to 15% by 2015/16. Outreach activity will take the form of summer schools, campus visits, master classes, taster days, workshops, conferences, events, student mentoring and tutoring and student associates with specific schemes designed to promote modern languages and STEM subjects. The University is also undertaking measures to improve the information available to prospective students, minimise drop-out rates, tracking, monitoring and resourcing our widening participation activity.
Where can I find out more?
Information on student fees at Reading can be found at:
- Undergraduate - http://www.reading.ac.uk/study/study-ug-fees.aspx
- Postgraduate - http://www.reading.ac.uk/study/fees/pg-feestable.aspx
- More on tuition fees - www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance