The Government has announced an extra 10,000 university places in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Lord Mandelson, the First Secretary, confirmed that the Government would pay the student-support costs for the extra full-time undergraduate entrants. Universities, however, will have to cover the costs of teaching.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said the funding would come from within its existing budgets, making the change “fiscally neutral”. The department will reduce the optional five-year holiday on repayment of student loans to two years.
“By making available 10,000 extra places in science, technology and maths, we are not only helping more individuals with the ambition and ability to go to university but also investing in this country’s future,” Lord Mandelson said.
“Our expansion of higher education is more important now than ever as we continue to invest in a highly skilled workforce to win the jobs of the future and lead the way in building Britain’s future.”
Universities have been receiving record numbers of applications. Until today’s announcement, however, student numbers were to expand by only 3,000 full-time places this autumn. The 10,000 additional places announced today will be targeted exclusively at full-time undergraduate entrants.