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BU announces fees and student support proposal for 2012

Graduating students

Announcement confirms University's commitment to offering students a high quality learning experience.

Bournemouth University (BU) today announced it will be charging a fee of £8,200 for the majority of its courses. Around 90 per cent of BU’s honours degree courses will attract this fee.

BU’s new fee structure will see a small number of flagship degree courses in areas such as Tourism, Computer Animation, Television Production and Journalism attracting a fee of £9,000 to recognise the global reputation of those courses, together with their cost of delivery and competitive demand for student places.

There will also be another fee tier of £6,000 for the majority of BU foundation degrees – which are predominantly delivered through BU’s regional partner Further Education colleges. This lower fee reflects BU’s commitment to providing flexible entry routes into higher education.

The new fees will allow BU to continue to invest in the excellent student experience at the university whilst maintaining the quality of its programmes, and will apply to full-time students from the UK and the EU who commence their studies in 2012.

BU Vice Chancellor, Professor John Vinney said: “The fees we are announcing today and the support packages we are putting in place reflect our commitment to offering students a high quality learning experience, continued investment in our facilities and infrastructure, and excellent value for the investment that BU students are making in their future.

“As a university, we pride ourselves on our links to the professions, and our new fees structure will ensure that we can continue to offer our students high quality teaching by professionally qualified and internationally recognised academics engaged in globally-relevant research.”

BU has a particularly impressive record for graduate employment with the Guardian University Guide for 2011 ranking BU as joint top for graduate employment amongst the 68 post-1992 universities in England.

The fees will be all-inclusive and there will be no additional charges for essential elements of the course. No full time student covered by the new fees regime will have to pay the cost of tuition while they are studying at BU. Government-backed student loans will be available which will be paid back only once a graduate is earning at least £21,000 a year.

The new fees have been agreed by the University Board – and have been developed following consultation with the Students’ Union for BU (SUBU).

SUBU President Toby Horner said: “SUBU believes that the withdrawal of teaching grants to universities on all programmes (except those deemed to be STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a great challenge to universities in England. SUBU will continue to work closely with the university to attract a wide range of students from all backgrounds with the potential to succeed

“SUBU will also ensure that it represents the voice of its students to BU in order to guarantee that they receive the educational quality, student experience and value for money that they deserve”.

BU has a strong track record in strengthening access for non-traditional students who have the potential to succeed in Higher Education, significantly enhancing their career opportunities.

As part of its package of fees and support, BU has set out its plans to invest some £3.6m during 2012/13 of which £1.4m is new investment. This will extend the University’s ambitions to engage with students who are currently under-represented in Higher Education.

These new measures include developing an outreach programme with specific focus on learners from areas which traditionally have low participation rates in Higher Education, those who are leaving care and students with disabilities. This will include summer schools, taster days and campus visits.

BU will also offer extensive opportunities for current BU students to become ambassadors and mentors, helping to demystify Higher Education for learners at partner schools and colleges. The proposals also offer an impartial HE guidance service to those students in partner schools who would benefit from this.

From 2012 the University will be offering a highly targeted, simple, transparent and clearly communicated programme of financial support worth some £1m, and based solely on need. This will include such elements as guaranteed year-round accommodation for those leaving care (free of charge in the first year of study) and a combination of fee waivers, bursaries and accommodation bursaries for students from Low Participation Neighbourhoods.

As for all English universities, BU’s graduate fee contribution proposals are subject to the approval of the Office of Fair Access in July 2011. BU’s graduate contribution fee proposal is subject to repayment of top up fees which will only begin when graduates reach annual earnings of over £21,000 a year, up from £15,000 under the current system. Even then, the payments will be modest at 9% of the income above £21,000; for example at an income level of £25,000 a year the repayments will be typically be around £7 a week.

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