University of East London to charge £9,000 fees

BB-feb4-mcgheeuel.jpgThe University of East London has announced it is to charge all full-time undergraduates £9,000 a year in tuition fees from September 2012.

The university's board of governors made the decision this week, although it is still subject to approval from the Office for Fair Access. It is the maximum sum any university can charge under the new fees system.

UEL vice-chancellor Professor Patrick McGhee said: "This fee level reflects the degree of investment required to deliver the quality of teaching and facilities that our students expect and deserve, following the reduction in government teaching grant.

"We already have an excellent record of opening up access to university, and we will make available a generous package of scholarships and bursaries to help with living costs and ensure that potential students are not deterred from accessing higher education."

OFFA requires all universities proposing to charge fees over £6,000 to have in place an approved access agreement setting out how the university intends to improve student access and retention. It will make its decision this July.

UEL says it will offer what it claims is a "generous package of bursaries" and scholarships, on top of what it currently provides, to maintain its aim of widening participation in higher education.

It will also says it will be investing more in its programmes for graduate employability and enterprise, including support for graduates through a scheme that offers additional employability training and paid internships, alongside free business incubation space for graduate start-ups for a year after graduation.

The new fee structure, introduced by the Government, has drawn widespread condemnation from student organisations.

However, full-time students entering higher education for the first time will not face any up-front fees.

They will start repaying the money when they have secured full-time employment with an income over £21,000. Repayments are calculated at nine per cent of the salary, so a graduate earning £25,000 a year would make repayments at £30 a month.

This repayment rate is the same regardless of the level of fees. Any fees outstanding after 30 years are written off by the government.