Open meetings - Preparing for 2012

During the last couple of weeks the Vice-Chancellor and members of the University’s senior management have held open meetings with staff to discuss our preparation for the new 2012 funding regime.

The meetings have been well-attended and prompted lively discussions.  Some common questions emerged from the  meetings, including:

  • how can we ensure that disadvantaged students are not deterred from applying to university by higher tuition fees?
  • how will we manage and meet student expectations?
  • how will the changes affect the staff/student relationship?
  • will we be able to compete for applicants with other universities?
  • how will taught postgraduate courses be affected by the new fee levels?

Action is already being taken to address some of these questions:

  • We have developed a financial support package to accompany the new fee regime which targets support at the most disadvantaged. It gives students a choice in how they receive support - fee waiver, bursary, or accommodation discount - to ensure that it addresses what, for the individual student, is their biggest concern. It is expected that a quarter of all students will benefit from the package.
  • We have a new Education Engagement Strategy, aimed at making our outreach activity more co-ordinated and effective.
  • All schools have been asked to review the economics of their taught postgraduate courses through the integrated planning exercise, and guidance on fee levels for 2012 will be developed by the end of this year.

As a result of the meetings, more work will be done in response to staff suggestions - including detailed guidance to help staff explain to prospective students how the tuition fee loan system will work.  Other responses will follow once we have had the opportunity to review all the suggestions made.

In the meantime, the Vice-Chancellor and management team would like to thank all the staff who came to the meetings.

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