Better access to universities
students in Cornwall will be entitled to maintenance grants
under a UK wide £400 million boost to the higher education
support system announced by the Government last week.
Universities Minister John Denham said from 2008 two thirds
of students will receive a maintenance grant, compared to
just over half now.
A third of students will get a full grant, compared to 29
per cent now, and a further third will get a partial grant,
compared to 22 per cent today.
This news comes on the back of Cornwall College St Austell's
announcement that 81 per cent of students from its sixth form
centre have accepted places at universities. The St Austell
students have received offers from up to six universities
each, confirming reports that more students are pursuing higher
The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said: "I want
every individual who has the potential and qualifications
to succeed in higher education to be given the opportunity
to participate, whatever their family background.
"No one should be held back from realising their
potential by fears that they will not be able to afford to
go to university or that they will graduate with unmanageable
levels of debt.
"These changes, giving more financial support to
those who want to learn and improve their skills, will help
even more young people fulfil their ambitions for a university
The new developments mean more students will receive full
grants worth £2,825 and from September next year, full
grants will be available to new students from families with
incomes of up to £25,000, compared with £18,360.
The government has also announced that students starting their
higher education course next year will be entitled to take
a break, for up to five years, from their loan repayments
to help meet the costs of buying a home or starting a family.
Glynis Kelly senior tutor at the college said: "This
is fabulous news, students will have better access to grants
and their student loan repayments will be more flexible. I
hope that this makes university an easier choice for some
"I agree that no one should be held back; I think
that cost is increasingly seen as a barrier to some very able
and talented students. At St Austell we are striving to make
students and their parents understand that a university level
education should be a realistic ambition, not a 'pie
in the sky' dream."
Cornwall College St Austell offers A-levels in 40 subjects
and is raising its game to give its students better access
to higher education. The college is forging links across the
higher education sector; the college recently played host
to the Vice Chancellor of one of the world's top universities,
the University of Oxford's Dr John Hood and Derek Denby,
one of the country's leading academic chemists.
John Latham, Principal of Cornwall College said: "Our
own degree level courses are enjoying unprecedented levels
of applicants, our latest figures are showing a 7 per cent
increase on last year and if these developments allow even
more students access to higher education, then they are welcomed.
"University level education has never been so important
and I think it's widely recognised that to become a
'world leader in skills,' the country must aim
for at least 40 per cent of adults to have higher level qualifications
by the year 2020, and with the hard work and increasing levels
of performance we are achieving here, Cornwall College is
a good place for any student to start."
Most of Cornwall College's higher education courses
are approved by the University of Plymouth through the Combined
Universities in Cornwall Initiative (CUC), an initiative invested
in through the Objective One European Regional Development
Cornwall College also has a partnership with the University
of Exeter. The scheme, South West Access to Exeter offers
bursary support to applicants from partner colleges. This
scheme also offers up to 70 top-up awards, each worth an additional
£2,000 per year on top of the Access to Exeter Bursary.
Priority is given to students with low household incomes.
For further information please contact Ruth Sparkes by email
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities
in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Social Fund (ESF). Cornwall College is a partner of the CUC.
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