Ad spells out 2012 fees amid fears of falling roll

The University of Edinburgh has taken out advertisements in UK national newspapers to explain the new tuition fees system to non- Scottish students because it fears that they do not understand the new arrangements.

December 1, 2011

The adverts, titled "Fees made simple", tell potential applicants in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that they will not have to pay their fees up front.

Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews have been labelled by some as the most expensive places to study in the UK because they will be charging £9,000 a year for four-year degrees from 2012.

The adverts explain that students will start repaying their fees only after they graduate and earn more than £21,000.

They also state that Edinburgh's bursaries "are the best in the UK for the lowest income groups" and that 95 per cent of graduates go into employment or on to further study.

A spokesman for the university said that "more needs to be done to help prospective undergraduate students and their families throughout the UK understand what the funding changes mean in practice, and what institutions like ours are doing to assist financially".

The adverts were taken out in national newspapers, the Times Educational Supplement and Times Higher Education at the end of October, then repeated in TES and the Daily Mirror on 18 November.

From 2012, English and Northern Irish students will pay £9,000 a year at Edinburgh, Welsh students will be charged £3,465, while Scots will not pay anything. In addition to an extra year of tuition fees, English students also face an extra year of living costs if they attend the university.

For non-Scottish UK students, Edinburgh is offering a means-tested bursary of up to £7,000 a year. For families with an income between £30,000 and £35,000, students will get £1,500 a year.

The university relied on English, Welsh and Northern Irish students for 43 per cent of its first-degree student body in 2009-10. In July, it revealed that the number of applications from rest-of-UK students for 2011-12 had fallen by 35.6 per cent compared with the previous year.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com.

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