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LSE's access agreement approved by OFFA

LSE is set to be one of England’s biggest university spenders on student outreach and bursaries, as a proportion of its fee income, according to university access agreements released by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

OFFA has approved the LSE’s 2014-15 access agreement, in which the School plans to spend 47.7 per cent of its additional income from undergraduate fees on outreach work and bursaries for low-income students. This figure goes up to 50 per cent when taking into account bursaries for European students, who are not covered by the OFFA agreement.

In total, LSE is set to spend over £3.4million a year on bursaries and outreach activities to attract and support students from widening participation backgrounds.

This is one of the biggest proportions of spending for any English university and second highest out of the Russell Group universities covered by OFFA.

From 2014, the tuition fee for UK/EU undergraduates will be £9,000 per year, with students on a full or a partial grant entitled to an LSE bursary in addition to the government financial support package. LSE students from the lowest-income backgrounds will receive the maximum bursary of £4,000 per year, and the bursary value tapers down for students on a partial grant. We expect around one third of LSE students will be eligible for the new bursaries.

Commenting on LSE’s approved access agreement, Catherine Baldwin, deputy academic registrar, said:

“This announcement shows that our bursary package will offer an unprecedented level of financial support for students from low-income backgrounds.

“But bursaries are only one way in which we are helping to remove barriers to higher education. LSE also undertakes a wide range of activities to encourage students from all backgrounds to apply to the School and to seriously think about higher education more generally. For example, our Pathways to Law programme, which is set to run for another four years, will give year 12 pupils from non-traditional backgrounds a taste of studying Law at LSE, while also providing practical support for those who want a career in law.”

Information and guidance for UK and EU undergraduates about the 2014 fees and financial support can be found in Student Finance 2014a guide for UK/EU undergraduates .