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Middle Ranked English Universities Competing For Students

by Jim ONeil on August 3, 2011

in student finance

AAB grade students may find themselves in higher demand next year as middle-ranked universities compete with the elite schools to increase their ranks. Incentives like discounts on tuition may prove successful in luring the highest performing students away from the best schools.

Government reforms will permit school to accept an unlimited number of AAB or higher students at A-level.

Universities UK President Sir Steve Smith said that schools that currently attract only a small number of high-performers will face some tough decisions. These students become “gold dust” for the reputation of the school, he commented.

This could lead to a wide offering of incentives. Schools with a fee averaging £7,500 or less will also receive extra spots for top students.

Under the current system, the government funds a fixed number of places for home undergraduates at each university. The effect of the reforms is to put pressure on middle-ranked universities with high fees. Some of the best-performing applicants will be removed due to being courted by elite schools.

In response, some schools plan to lower their fees to earn extra spots under the threshold.

The University of Kent is one of the first to provide a deal to excellent students. The school will provide 2012 recruits who have three As in A-levels with a non income-based £2,000 scholarship. Some disagree with providing better deals to high achievers because these students tend to come from wealthy backgrounds.

Shadow universities minister Gareth Thomas believes the funds would be better allocated to students hailing from poorer backgrounds.

Those looking for lower student loans debt upon graduation should hit the books in order to get the best tuition deals. One estimate indicates a ten percent decline in applications in 2012 due to fear of debt.

Universities may see an increase in European Union applicants because enforcing repayment of their student loans is nearly impossible.

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