The University of Westminster proposes to set all fees at £9,000 per year for all UK domiciled and other European Union undergraduates starting on all programmes in 2012. However, to continue to encourage students from diverse backgrounds and to build on the university’s history of success in supporting access to higher education, Westminster will provide a number of fair access options based on course fee waivers and scholarships.
The leading London university has carefully considered how it can continue to attract and nurture high-quality students from all backgrounds and communities. Every effort will be made to ensure that courses are accessible to everyone and value for money. Course fee waivers and scholarships are expected to benefit up to three quarters of future students and could amount to a total value of £8 million.
The anticipated National Scholarship Programme outlined by the Government will mean that many students will pay less than the full fee. In addition, proposed course fee waivers* for some subject types will be introduced.
Professor Geoffrey Petts, Vice Chancellor, said: “At the University of Westminster we are committed to being open with students planning to study with us, which is why we have devised a new approach with fees of £9,000 a year but with a package of measures to address access issues shared by many prospective students. We do not believe a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to tuition fees is appropriate when disciplines have varying costs according to their research, teaching, equipment and facilities requirements. We hope that any student looking to join us will be encouraged by the approach we have taken and determination to continue our legacy of attracting and developing diverse talent.”
To illustrate how the scholarship programme and proposed course fee waivers could work; the following hypothetical case studies have been devised:
Case study 1: A student wanting to study Architecture, a course with high demand and using specialist facilities, would be looking at annual fees of £9,000 per year. The introduction of the National Scholarship Programme could mean that this fee is reduced by £2,000 per year with an additional £1,000 support package of cash and/or in kind. With a Westminster Scholarship the course fee waiver would be £1,000 plus a £500 cash support package.
Case Study 2: A successful application to Westminster Business School would incur fees of £8,000 as a £1,000 fee waiver would be in place for any student enrolled on any course within the School. With a National Scholarship Award this amount would be reduced by £2,000 per year to £6,000 with a support package of £1,000. A Westminster Scholarship would result in a final fee level of £7,000 plus £500 support package.
Case Study 3: For a student wanting to study Politics, with courses more focused on classroom based teaching, there would be a fee waiver in place which would result in a fee level of £7,500 per year. With a National Scholarship award this could mean that successful applicants would pay £5,500 with a £1,000 support package. If the student was awarded a Westminster scholarship the fee would be £6,500 plus a £500 support package.
The University of Westminster is proud to offer one of the largest scholarship schemes in the UK under the current funding system. A key mission of the University of Westminster is to continue its role in widening participation in higher education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 2009-10, more than four in ten of full-time undergraduate students were from lower socio-economic groups*. Under the proposed National Scholarships Programme the University of Westminster will be able to offer 222 scholarships for Home and EU students and, under the scheme, will match these with a further 444, reaching a total value of £1.32m per year. This is in addition to the 220 scholarships the university offers international students. The university will continue to grow funding from external sources, such as the recent donation from Formula Santander.
Notes to Editors:
*Course fee waivers reflects a careful evaluation of each course including: the cost of their delivery; levels of research and world-leading academics; practice-based input; industry-linked specialism; market demand in relation to those qualifications with a stronger focus on classroom-based teaching.
Please note: University of Westminster fee levels are proposals which were submitted to OFFA by the agreed deadline of 19 April 2011. Our proposals are for one year initially and need formal approval from OFFA which we should expect to receive by 11 July 2011.