Fees and access – update on national and institutional developments

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, called a meeting on Tuesday 8 February 2011 to discuss the issues of fair access and widening participation in the university sector.

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell, along with several other vice-chancellors, was invited to attend.

Subsequent to this meeting, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has now published its guidance to OFFA on the content of Access Agreements for 2012-13. This guidance is now accessible at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/he-access-agreements

Our own Fees and Access Working Group has now drafted a set of guiding principles for the setting of fees and for access activities.

These principles have been considered by the Vice-Chancellor’s Group (VCG), Executive Committee and Senate.

They are due to be presented to Council on 3 March 2011.

The draft principles are as follows:

Setting Fees

Our fee structure should:

1) enable the University to maintain financial sustainability;

2) reflect institutional reputation and the quality of our degrees;

3) reflect, and be responsive to, changes in demand and peer competition.

Access Agreement

Our Access Agreement should strengthen our reputation by supporting a more diverse population of academically able students to gain the entry qualifications that will enable them to successfully complete our degrees. Specifically, our Access Agreement should focus on:

1) working closely with schools and colleges to raise aspirations and attainment;

2) working in partnership with Further Education colleges and other strategic partners to facilitate access;

3) providing financial support for those in greatest need;

4) providing support for students from under-represented groups to enhance retention.

Students wishing to make comments on the draft principles need to log on to BathStudent.com in order to view ‘Forums’ and then post your comments: www.bathstudent.com/fees/

Colleagues wishing to submit comments on the draft principles can email the Fees and Access Working Group’s Secretary, Dr Harriet Dunbar-Morris.

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