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Message from the Vice-Chancellor: Undergraduate Tuition Fees 2012

24 May 2011

Vice-Chancellor Dr David GrantVice-Chancellor Dr David Grant

Cardiff University’s Council last evening approved the proposal for a fee level of £9,000 per annum for undergraduates joining the University from 2012-13. The proposed fee, along with the University’s supporting investment plan for a series of scholarships, bursaries and ongoing financial and academic support for students will now go forward to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales for consideration and final approval.

The Vice Chancellor, Dr David Grant, said:

"This has not been an easy decision for the University to reach. We are committed to maintaining access to our courses for all who have the potential to succeed. We also know that our students greatly value the quality of learning, teaching and support at Cardiff. With rapidly reducing levels of government support we have to act responsibly and ensure that our future fee level is sufficient to maintain and develop provision across our wide portfolio of courses - including the very large number of high cost programmes we deliver in science, engineering and professional disciplines.

"Thus, alongside this new fee level, we are also making a commitment to even greater support for our students throughout their University life. We have worked closely with the Students’ Union and put a great deal of thought and consideration into our fee and support proposals. We are confident that by expansion and refocusing of our flexible programme of bursaries and other investments we will be able to offer some of the best support available for UK undergraduates.

"Our packages of support will not only be financial. We recognise that the investment students make in us must be rewarded with high quality teaching, with excellent learning resources and with support towards completion and employability. We’ll meet students’ investment in us with the "Cardiff Commitment" – a commitment to ensuring the best student experience possible, to supporting students throughout their time at the University and to ensuring students are equipped for life after University - not only with a highly sought after qualification but with the skills and attitudes that society and future employers need.

"Cardiff University is proud that it has one of the strongest traditions of widening access among the leading Russell Group universities. We are well aware that students from backgrounds without a strong tradition of participation in higher education often assume that university life and a university education is not for them. We have been working hard for a sustained period to overcome that view and we plan to redouble our efforts again to ensure that all understand what an attractive, supportive and affordable place Cardiff University is for undergraduate study."

The President of Cardiff Students’ Union, Olly Birrell said:

"The University has worked closely with the Students’ Union on these proposals, and has committed to continue this partnership throughout the implementation of the fee changes. While we are disappointed that the University has had to make the decision to raise fees to this level, we welcome the commitment Cardiff is making to further developing the student experience and to providing financial and skills support for students from non-traditional backgrounds throughout the lifetime of a student’s course. We are confident that Cardiff will remain one of the best places in the UK to live and study."

Additional information:

Fees for Wales/EU students, and rest of UK

No students will have to pay fees up front.

The fees for Welsh domiciled students will be met from two sources. As now, Welsh domiciled students will be liable for the first £3,375 * of their fees – this cost will be met via a loan from the Student Loan Company. Students will only start repaying this loan once they are earning more than £21,000. The balance of the fee over and above the £3,375 will be met by the Welsh Government via a tuition fee grant. The tuition fee grant will be paid for all eligible Welsh-domiciled students (and for those from the EU studying in Wales).** It applies not only to those students studying in Wales but to all Welsh-domiciled students wherever such students are studying in the UK. The tuition fee grant will not be repayable and will not be means tested.

For more information, visit the Student Finance Wales website.

Support for students from other parts of the UK will be governed by the fee arrangements decided by their own governments. It is anticipated that such students will need to meet the cost of their tuition fees in full via a loan from the Student Loan Company.

For more information visit the Student Loans Company website.

* £3,375 is the current undergraduate tuition fee (2011/12) – this figure is expected to be adjusted in line with inflation.

** Subject to Student Support Regulations

Widening Access and Retention

This year, Cardiff University’s student population includes nearly 1,500 students from the most deprived areas of Wales (Communities First areas) – the second highest total of any university in Wales.

Each year, up to 1,400 Year 11 Pupils are inspired by our seminars in schools to join the University’s Step Up to University programme. In 2010, 150 graduates of the scheme gained a place at university with 59 securing a place at Cardiff.

Over the next three years, we will expand our Step up to University programme by 100%, with 3,000 pupils on the programme at any one time, and we will prioritise our activity in Communities First areas of SE Wales.

Cardiff University is proud of its track record in supporting students to successfully complete their courses. 94% of our undergraduates achieve their intended educational aims.

We will further invest in providing tailored support by establishing a Skills Centre to coordinate academic support services as part of the student experience, enabling them to fulfil their potential.


Ocer the last three years, on average more than 94% per cent of our graduates entered employment or further study within six months of graduation.

We will build on this and further embed employability and enterprise skills within the Cardiff experience. We will achieve this through partnership working between employers, careers specialists, Student Enterprise and the Students’ Union, so that students are able to contribute positively in a work situation, add value to their employer at the earliest opportunity in their career and realise their potential through their professional and career ambitions.

Campus investments

Over the last two years, Cardiff University has enhanced the student experience and transformed the academic environment including:

  • the £4M extension to the School of Biosciences’ South podium providing new student facilities offering undergraduates easy access to all facilities, and freeing up space further inside the building for teaching and learning;
  • the £16M, 6,000 m2 Cochrane Building offering facilities for all five healthcare schools based on the Heath Park Campus, including a twin storey, inter-professional library, modern clinical skills and high-tech simulation laboratories, seminar space, wireless access to on-line services and student support services;
  • the £21M state-of-the art building housing the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences;
  • the £30M Hadyn Ellis Building on the new Maindy Park site, offering well-equipped new space for some of the University’s most advanced research, and a home to the new Graduate College.

More about Cardiff University

  • Cardiff University welcomes approximately 4,500 undergraduate entrants each year and more than 34,000 applications. It is one of the largest universities in the UK (with 28,000 students), and is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities.
  • Cardiff has strength of undergraduate provision across a broad subject mix covering all of the major academic disciplines. These include the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), clinical subjects, the humanities (including modern foreign languages) and social sciences (including planning and architecture). Over half (52%) of Cardiff's undergraduate provision is in the higher cost STEM and clinical areas.
  • Cardiff University provides substantial number of engineering, health and business professionals of the future – 85% of our academic schools have links with over 90 professional and accrediting bodies.
  • Cardiff University is Wales’ sole provider of degree level Architecture, Planning, Optometry, Pharmacy, and Dentistry courses. The School of Medicine is one of the largest in the UK with more than 3,000 students.

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