Leeds Met caps tuition fees for a fourth year

August 14, 2008

Leeds Metropolitan University has announced that it will keep its fees capped at £2,000 for the fourth successive year.

In a statement, the university said its governors had voted unanimously to set its fees at £1,225 less than the maximum that universities will be allowed to charge students in 2009-10. This means that it will continue to have the lowest tuition fees for undergraduate home students in the country.

Ninian Watt, chair of governors at Leeds Met, said: "The increasing number of students applying to study at Leeds Met indicates the success of the university's pioneering low-charging, high-impact approach to fees and education in general.

"The low fees in effect mean a bursary of more than £1,000 for every undergraduate student."

The University of Greenwich will be charging an undergraduate home student a fee of £2,900.

However, most universities are once again opting to charge the maximum amount, which in 2009-10 will be set at £3,225.

A report from Universities UK this week said there was no evidence that the introduction of top-up fees in 2006-07 has had "any lasting impact on the level or pattern of demand" for full-time undergraduate education.

Although full-time undergraduate enrolments fell in 2006-07, data on applications suggest that enrolments will be restored "at least until the projected decline in the number of 18 to 20-year-olds starts from 2010", it says.

The report also concludes that there has been no discernible impact on the ethnicity, social class or age mix of those applying, with the figures showing no significant change. It contradicts suggestions that more undergraduates are now choosing to live at home, presenting data showing no clear trend in this direction.

Rob Wilson, the Shadow Minister for Higher Education, said next year's review of fees must address the failure to increase the proportions of people entering university from the poorest homes.

The authors predict that a rise in the numbers of Welsh students staying in Wales will continue, thanks to the incentive of a grant of £1,835 for Welsh students enrolling at a Welsh higher education institution.

The data also show that the number of new computer science students has fallen by a quarter since 2003-04.

rebecca.attwood@tsleducation.com.

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