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Universities Providing Cash Incentives in a Competitive Market

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Universities are being criticised over their use of cash incentives to persuade students to join their courses, with those going through clearing being offered scholarships of up to £4,500.

Some of those known to be offering scholarships include Westminster University which has offered up to 40 clearing scholarships worth £4,500 each over three years, as well as Aberystwyth University (£2,000) and Buckinghamshire New University.

Chief executive of the Office for Students, Nicola Dandridge, cautioned students from being swayed by short-term perks and they should take time to think through the longer-term interests.

In response, Aberystwyth University said: "As more and more prospective students apply for university outside the main UCAS timetable, a number of Academic Excellence Scholarships that have been on offer to students throughout the year, have been held back so that high achieving applicants who chose to study at Aberystwyth are not disadvantaged financially in any way."

"Aberystwyth University has for many years guaranteed accommodation for first year students so they have the best possible start to university life."

Whilst the idea of providing financial support to those from disadvantaged backgrounds should be welcomed, students should also be wary that some of the institutions offering these incentives have faced declining student numbers, raising questions as to the true motivation behind their use.