Cambridge Widens Bursary Net

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A third of students enrolling at the University of Cambridge in 2008 will receive some form of bursary support, under new arrangements announced today.

The extension of the threshold for a full bursary to £25,000 is hugely important for students from low income families like mine. At the time of going to university my family income was below £20,000.

A third of students enrolling at the University of Cambridge in 2008 will receive some form of bursary support, under new arrangements announced today.

The University has significantly raised the income thresholds entitling students to bursaries, benefiting both students from low income homes as well as those in the middle income bracket.

The upper limit at which students from low income homes are entitled to a full Cambridge Bursary will be raised from £18,000 to £25,000.

The full bursary for each qualifying student will be worth £3,150 each year for those starting in 2008. For mature students the maximum Cambridge bursary will be £5,250 per year.

By 2011/12, when the new scheme will have been operating for three years, total bursary spend is expected to increase to £7 million per annum, up one million on current estimates.

As a result of new tapering arrangements for those with family incomes above £25,000, it is anticipated that a third of students at Cambridge will be in receipt of some form of bursary support by 2011/12, with the total number of students benefiting from the scheme increasing from just under 2,000 now to around 3,000. The number of students on a full bursary is expected to increase from around 900 to 1,400.

The University has been quick to match new arrangements for maintenance grants announced by the Government in early July. Every student on a full maintenance grant of £2,825 and full Cambridge Bursary will receive £5,975 in total each year, enough to meet all their living costs at Cambridge.

Above the £25,000 threshold, bursaries will be offered to students on a tapered basis, cutting off at £60,000. The previous upper limit was £38,500.

Professor Melveena McKendrick, University Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, said, “This University must be accessible to all outstanding students whatever their background. When Professor Alison Richard began her term as Vice-Chancellor in October 2003, one of her first priorities was to ensure that we had a comprehensive and navigable bursary scheme. These extensions to our already substantial bursary scheme show our commitment to attracting and supporting the ablest students regardless of need.”

Case studies

Nadia Islam
Nadia Islam will take up a place at New Hall this autumn. She will be studying Social and Political Sciences and applied to Cambridge through the Cambridge Special Access Scheme.

Nadia has no living parents and will benefit from maximum support, both from her local authority and the University of Cambridge.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be going to Cambridge and I’m grateful that I won’t have to worry too much about the costs of being at university, and will be able to concentrate on my studies.”

Charlotte Richer
Charlotte Richer began her degree at Cambridge in 2004 and benefited from a Cambridge Bursary.

“Many students do not realise just how generous the Cambridge Bursaries are,” she said. “I received a full bursary of £1,000 a year and a grant. Under this new scheme future students will receive full annual bursaries of £3,150.”

She added, “The extension of the threshold for a full bursary to £25,000 is hugely important for students from low income families like mine. At the time of going to university my family income was below £20,000.”

As a result of the bursary and grant Charlotte avoided going into debt while at Cambridge. “I am also very careful at budgeting and worked during the summer,” said Charlotte.

She graduated this summer with an upper second in English from Jesus College. She is now Access Officer for the Cambridge University Students’ Union.

Notes to Editors:
Information about the University of Cambridge, the courses on offer and the application process can be found on our undergraduate admissions pages: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/

For more information contact:
Claire Sanders, Communications Office, University of Cambridge, Tel: 01223 332300

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