University of Sheffield statement on tuition fees and student finance

The University of Sheffield has today (11 April 2011) announced its plans to set tuition fees for all full-time UK/EU undergraduate students at £9,000 in 2012.

Today's decision by the University of Sheffield's Council was taken in the context of an uncertain higher education environment. It was not taken lightly and follows a lengthy process of considerable debate and discussion. The new fee level will mean the University will be best able to replace reductions in government funding while ensuring it can deliver a consistently excellent education to students from all backgrounds.

The University of Sheffield is and will remain committed to widening participation and will continue to strive to ensure cost is not a barrier to students.

The University of Sheffield already has an excellent track record on widening participation and is determined to build on this in light of the new fee. Alongside the new fee structure, the University will therefore significantly expand its financial support, outreach and retention activities to £10 million in 2012 and to £12 million by 2015 (compared to £6.7 million per annum currently).

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "We now face a real challenge not of our choosing, but one which we owe it to future students to accept. At a time when many sectors of society are feeling the impact of cuts and young people are increasingly concerned about employment and debt, we must effectively deliver and communicate the positive worth of university. We will not do this by underestimating what this investment will mean to graduates, but rather by championing an education which is worthy of that investment."

The University of Sheffield's proposals for tuition fees, financial support, outreach and retention activities for 2012/13 are subject to approval by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

Notes for Editors: The University of Sheffield's comprehensive package of financial support and outreach activities will include:

• More than one third of all our UK undergraduate students - over 6000 each year - will be eligible for some form of financial support
• Bursaries will be available to all students with a total household income of up to £42,000 and will be available as either cash or accommodation discount
• Spending on outreach and retention programmes will be doubled to £4 million
• Mature students from low income backgrounds will be further supported through fee reductions for our Foundation Programme in Combined Studies
• Students from low-participation backgrounds will receive more than £13,000 of aid from the University over the course of a three year degree
• Eligible students will also be able to experience university with a first year 100% fee waiver
• In all £12 million will be spent on widening participation by 2015 (compared to £6.7 million currently)

For further information, please contact Lindsey Wilson, Media Relations Manager on 0114 222 5338 or email l.m.wilson@sheffield.ac.uk