From poor pay to flexible fees 2

May 13, 2005

The temptation to produce league tables is irresistible, however misleading they might be. Your table purporting to show what percentage of fee income higher education institutions would spend on bursaries and outreach confuses the minimum commitments in our Office for Fair Access agreements with what we will spend.

Clearly, some institutions chose to commit themselves to high levels of spending in advance of knowing how the market will work. Others, such as the University of East Anglia, sought more limited Offa agreements to maximise their flexibility and freedom of action in an emerging market.

In the case of UEA, we have developed a very generous and flexible scholarship scheme wholly outside our Offa agreement. If league tables are not to mislead, they will need to capture what institutions are actually doing in any year.

David Eastwood
Vice-chancellor
University of East Anglia

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