How will universities get an agreement from OFFA to charge £9,000 tuition fees?

The Student Room is perfectly placed to help universities find the students that will help them get the approval they need from the Office of Fair Access to charge up to £9,000  tuition fees.

Download The Student Room’s Widening Access document to see how you can increase the diversity of your undergraduates

In December 2010 MPs voted to raise the cap on tuition fees to £6,000 from 2012 with a higher hard cap of £9,000 available to some universities in “exceptional cases”.

These exceptional cases require an agreement between the institution and the Office of Fair Access (OFFA), which has expressed a concern through its director, Sir Martin Harris, that there is a “real risk that disadvantaged students in particular will start to feel they cannot afford to go to university”.

What are universities required to do to charge up to £9,000?
OFFA’s guidance states that universities will be required to draw up access agreements for 2012-13.

  • They will need to provide details of the fees that their institution intends to charge
  • Provide information about the measures that they will put in place to improve access
  • Highlight plans for student retention at their institution
  • Agreements must be reviewed and approved by OFFA on an annual basis

OFFA’s other (non-compulsory) requests

  • Increase focus and expenditure on long-term outreach that is proven to raise aspirations amongst those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Target financial support such as bursaries and fee waivers more tightly at the most disadvantaged.
  • Set targets for student intake, outreach activity and retention.

How TSR can help universities find these students*

  • 16% of users on The Student Room have a household income of less than £12,000
  • 35% have a household income of less than £24,000
  • 54% of TSR users’ parents never went to university
  • 99.1% intend to go to, are at or have been to university
  • 73.3% would consider studying abroad since it was announced that tuition fees would rise with the top alternative countries being Scotland, USA, Ireland and Australia

About OFFA
The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is an independent, non-departmental public body established under the Higher Education Act 2004 to help promote and safeguard fair access to higher education.

*Statistics taken from The Student Room survey of 1500 students about their thoughts on the future of their education