Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Durham's Pounds 12,000 Grants for Students from Lower Income Families

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Durham's Pounds 12,000 Grants for Students from Lower Income Families

Article excerpt

Durham University has set a new landmark in its undergraduate admissions with the introduction of one of the country's most generous bursary schemes to provide up to pounds 12,000 in direct financial support for students from lower-income households.

The Durham Grants Scheme financial package is non-repayable, open and accessible, and the university estimates that about a quarter of students in the future will qualify for some or all of the available grant. By the time the scheme is fully operating the university will be spending pounds 4.5m a year on it.

The full grant will be pounds 3,000 a year, and for a student from a household on the lowest level of income (about pounds 16,000 or less), who is on a four-year course, such as in most science subjects, it will provide financial support of pounds 12,000, up to the time of their graduation. For students from higher income homes the level of grant will be lower, and will be calculated on the financial information that students give to their local education authority.

The University has some 11,000 undergraduates in Durham and at Queen's Campus, Stockton. About one in five comes from the North-east region and a rising proportion ( currently about 12pc - come from the traditionally Lower Participation Neighbourhoods (LPNs).

Vice-Chancellor Sir Kenneth Calman said: "We never want to see any potential student put off applying to Durham by the fear of financial difficulties. We are looking for people with high academic ability from any background, regardless of school or where they live. I am pleased that the Office of Fair Access has given its full support to all our proposals for widening access."

He added: "The Durham Grant Scheme is simple and generous with no strings attached. It is now one of the flagship features of our admissions package along with the excellent teaching and the enjoyable, supportive environment of the residential colleges. Combined, they mean Durham offers one of the most attractive student experiences in the country. …

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