Comment on OFFA announcement on 2013-14 access agreements

“Alliance institutions are committed to creating life-changing opportunities for all. With a large and diverse intake of students coupled with some of the highest graduate employability rates in the UK they are big players in delivering social mobility. In order to make this happen there needs to be as much, if not more, focus on retention as widening access. This is why Alliance institutions are increasing spending on retention by 42%, accounting for 18% of total spend.

“The central, underlying issue to all of this is the need to look at ways of increasing student places at university. We will see again this summer thousands of people not able to go to university because of the limit on places. With unemployment at an all-time high, widening access to the opportunities created by going to university is of critical importance to the health of our society.

“Alongside this, there is the economic imperative to harness the talents of all, not the few. We will never build the workforce needed to remain competitive in a global, knowledge economy without increasing the number of graduates in the UK. This means that we must ensure that any student with the potential and aspiration to go to university is able to do so, whatever their background.”


Press Contacts – Sam Jones (07767673982) or Andrew Henry (07833236629)

1. Alliance institutions are increasing spending on widening access by around £10m on last year’s figures (looking at like for like figures taking into account the number of year groups with higher fees). Nearly all of increase is due to increased spending on retention, now accounting for 18% of spend – well above the sector average of 13%.

2. University Alliance is a group of 23 universities offering a distinct student experience shaped by a commitment to delivering world-class research and a culture of enterprise and innovation built on close partnerships with business, the professions and their communities.

3. Alliance universities

Bournemouth University, University of Bradford, Cardiff Metropolitan University, De Montfort University, University of Glamorgan, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Huddersfield, Kingston University, University of Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Northumbria University, Nottingham Trent University, Open University, Oxford Brookes University, Plymouth University, University of Portsmouth, University of Salford, Sheffield Hallam University, Teesside University, University of Wales, Newport, University of the West of England.

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