Future University of Cumbria students will have access to additional scholarships and bursaries thanks to the university's new Access Agreement - a scheme that will especially help locals.
The university's Access Agreement for 2012/13 has been given the go ahead by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and confirms that the University continues and expands its extensive commitment to widening participation offering excellent educational opportunities for students in Cumbria, north Lancashire and beyond.
The university already has a proven track record for offering excellent financial and other support to its students but its new agreement will see it participating in the Government's national scholarship programme and has committed to providing 126 local students support of up to £6000, including £3000 in the first year and £1500 in years two and three if applicable.
The university has also pledged up to £4,500 of financial support for an additional 295 Cumbria bursaries of £1,500 per year as well as a range of additional achievement and performance awards.
The university says it will continue to provide existing financial support to its current and 2011 entry students under its current bursary scheme and will also be investing in new staff and teams to further develop access and retention of students to help them achieve their full potential. This will include continuing the legacy and some work previously delivered by Aimhigher Cumbria and Lancashire schemes.
“We're delighted that our Access Agreement has been given the go ahead," says Vice Chancellor Professor Graham Upton. "This reaffirms our ongoing commitment to widening participation for our students and ensure that everybody has the opportunity to study with us.
"The student experience remains at the forefront of all the university’s planning and budgeting," he continued. "The drive to offer high quality resources to match the already high level of teaching was fundamental to our decision for setting our new tuition fee."
The University has ongoing plans for new developments on its campuses, including St. Martins in Lancaster.
"We will continue to invest in facilities and accommodation, as well as learning and teaching resources, to enhance and support the overall quality of the student experience," the Vice Chancellor reveals. "Our new Access Agreement will also enable us to build on our strong commitment to and current widening participation activity in order to encourage able students from less advantaged backgrounds to embark on a degree.
"The range of financial support packages that we will be putting in place will ensure no student is deterred from enrolling at the University of Cumbria purely on financial grounds, but instead can take advantage of the life and career enhancing opportunities that we are proud to provide.“