Durham launches £12,000 grants for students from lower income families
(17 March 2005)
Durham University today sets a new landmark in its undergraduate admissions with the introduction of one of the country’s most generous bursary schemes to provide up to £12,000 in direct financial support for students from lower-income households.
The Durham Grants Scheme financial package will be non-repayable, open and accessible, and the University estimates that about a quarter of students in future will qualify for some or all of the available grant. By the time the scheme is fully operating, the University will be spending £4.5m a year on it.
The full grant will be £3,000 a year, and for a student from a household on the lowest level of income (about £16,000 or less), who is on a four-year course, such as in most science subjects, it will provide financial support of £12,000 up to the time of their graduation. For students from higher income homes the level of grant will be lower, and will be calculated on the financial information that students give to their Local Education Authority.
The University has some 11,000 undergraduates in Durham and at Queen’s Campus, Stockton. About one in five comes from the North East region and a rising proportion – currently about 12 per cent - come from the traditionally Lower Participation Neighbourhoods (LPNs).
Vice-Chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman said: “We never want to see any potential student put off applying to Durham by the fear of financial difficulties. We are looking for people with high academic ability from any background, regardless of school of where they live. I am pleased that the Office of Fair Access has given its full support to all our proposals for widening access.”
He added: “The Durham Grant Scheme is simple and generous with no strings attached. It is now one of the flagship features of our admissions package along with the excellent teaching and the enjoyable, supportive environment of the residential colleges. Combined, they mean Durham offers one of the most attractive student experiences in the country.”
Head of Undergraduate Admissions, Matthew Andrews, said: “Everyone can afford to study at Durham or Stockton. Our grant is payable over and above other grants or loans from the government or elsewhere. It’s easy to apply, simple to understand, and the students can spend it on whatever they like. This is a real cash support for the students who need it most.”
Sir Kenneth and colleagues are formally launching the scheme to teachers, politicians and education advisers from the region at a briefing on Friday 18 March at the University’s Collingwood College, in Durham, one of 15 student colleges.
The scheme comes into operation from 2006, the year when universities will be funded under the government’s new financial regime, which allows the institutions to charge up to £3,000 in tuition fees. Graduates will pay off their tuition costs after they have left university and start to earn a certain level of income. Durham has announced previously that it will charge the full permitted fee on all but its foundation year programmes.
How the DGS works:
It is open to students from the UK paying the home fee for entry in 2006 onwards. They apply for the Grant through their LEA (or equivalent outside England). The level of support is calculated in three bands based on their household income levels. Exact levels will be set during the first year of operation but as examples:
- Band 1 – 100 per cent = £3,000 a year – income £15,580 or less
- Band 2 - 50 per cent = £1,500 a year - income £15,580 - £22,010
- Band 3 - 20 per cent = £600 a year - income £22,010 - £27,378
The levels of income will be reviewed each year and the grant value will also rise in line with inflation each year from 2007-08.
See more details on the website: www.durham.ac.uk
Teachers, advisers and potential students can also call, Liz Lovett on 0191 3346116 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
Reporters are welcome at the education staff briefing at 4.30pm 18 March, Collingwood College, South Road, Durham
Matthew Andrews, Head of Undergraduate Admissions 0191 3346105
Or: Keith Seacroft, Head of PR 0191 334 6074