Issue date: 16 May 2011
UWE Bristol is to invest £19m from new tuition fees of £9,000 in 2012 to improve widening access and student support – one of the largest investments by a UK university.
The investment will include an annual commitment of £9 million to reach out to students who despite obtaining the qualifications are still missing out on higher education because of their background. In particular students from low income backgrounds, care leavers, access students and disabled students will be able to receive considerable learning and internship support including a package worth £5,000 over their 3 years.
The University will also invest at least a further £10m annually in enhancing support for all students. This will include building on its partnerships that underpin high quality teaching, top quartile learning facilities, good contact time, well above average employment, quality internships and other opportunities that UWE is known for.
Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor said, “We know that some very capable students still do not regard higher education as an option. If they have the potential to benefit our belief is that no student should miss out on the opportunity of a first class university experience. Our aim has been to make the investment to enable this. UWE ranks second on “added value” in the Guardian University League tables. To continue to offer that value for money to our students in the future we need to invest further and make up for the shortfall of reduced government funding for teaching and student enterprise.”
The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is expected to confirm universities' fees and access programmes in July.
President of UWE Students' Union, Colin Offler said,“The Students’ Union are still opposed to the funding system itself which still has a number of ambiguities which have yet to be satisfactorily addressed by central government. A predominant concern has been that an increase in fees may lead to a decrease in the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds aspiring to attend University. The Students’ Union are therefore pleased to see that UWE are re-investing so heavily in student support and widening participation.”
UWE is continuing to invest in its £200m campus developments, including work with its key partners on enhancing facilities.