Wednesday 16th March 2005



Strict embargo: 00.01 Thursday 17th March 2005


The University of Lincoln’s plan to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds has been approved by the government’s new fair access watchdog.


The Office for Fair Access (OFFA) wrote to universities this week to give its verdict on the access agreements which all universities must now submit.


The access agreements are a new requirement of the Higher Education Act 2004 which will allow universities to charge fees of up to £3,000 per year from 2006.


OFFA aims to ensure that the introduction of variable fees does not have a detrimental effect on widening participation and that institutions are committed to increasing the participation of under-represented groups in higher education.


The University of Lincoln’s access agreement commits the university to:


·                    a sliding scale of top-up bursaries for students on state support

·                    special university scholarships for high-achieving students

·                    outreach activity including access courses and summer schools

·                    a network of partner schools

·                    clear information for prospective students


“The University of Lincoln has an excellent track record in widening participation and its Access to Higher Education scheme set up in Hull in 1995 was a pioneer among UK universities,” said university spokesman Jez Ashberry.


“We serve a large geographical area which has until recently had no university and where take up of higher education has traditionally been very low despite higher than average A-level results.


“For this reason we remain committed to a strategy of widening access to all those from under-represented and disadvantaged groups who have earned the right to a university education by their achievements.”


For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042               

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