UCL Access Agreement

The Agreement contains a wide range of measures which meet the strict criteria set out by OFFA and ensure that UCL’s tradition of welcoming the best from all sections of society is upheld.

Main features of the UCL Access Agreement 2014-15 include:

  • tuition fees for UK/EU undergraduate students to be set at £9,000
  • an anticipated 30% of additional tuition fee income to be spent on access measures equating to approximately £10.6 million per year when fully implemented. Approximately £7.9 million of additional tuition fee income to be spent on financial measures and £2.7million on outreach and retention activities
  • continuation of current successful outreach activities and the introduction of a range of new activities, including targeted sustained activities aimed at increasing the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds studying at university level and, in particular, at UCL
  • challenging targets and milestones covering applications, student intake, progression and outreach activities that will move UCL further in the direction of wider social inclusion and reflect our own distinct ethos of openness
  • effective evaluation and monitoring to ensure that activities remain focused on outcomes
  • clear and transparent information available for prospective students on programmes of study and the finances for studying at UCL.  

You will find answers to come of the most frequently-asked questions about the new fee arrangements here. If you have any other questions, please look at the "Links" section of this website, or email study@ucl.ac.uk

I'm applying for 2014 entry; will I have to pay fees upfront?

No. The Government will provide you with a loan to pay fees costs. You only repay the loan after you have left university and are earning a certain amount (currently £21,000). 

I started at UCL in 2011 - will I be affected?

No. The changes only affect students who started their degree in September 2012 onwards. If you have already started your degree you will not be affected by the fee increase in your later years of study. The annual tuition fee will remain at the same level for current students and students who started in 2011, but will be increased by a small amount (linked to inflation) each year. This is set by the Government and details are published on our website.

I applied in 2011 for deferred entry in 2012 - will I have to pay higher fees?

Yes. The new fee arrangements apply from 2012 entry for all students starting their course in that year.

I am a current UCL student - will these changes affect my fees or repayments?

No. Students who have started their course before 2012 will not be affected by these changes.

I'm an international student - do these changes affect me?

No. These changes only affect students from the UK and European Union. Fees and financial support arrangements for international students are decided by universities.

What are the arrangements for part-time students?

The fees and financial support arrangements are changing for part-time students. The two most significant changes are that:

  • Students on most programmes will no longer have to pay their tuition fees up front.
  • Loans for tuition will be extended to eligible part-time first-degree students who complete a minimum of 25% of the full-time course load per year (30 credits or more).

Please note that part-time students are not eligible for maintenance loans or grants.

How much will I repay, how, and when?

You will only start to repay your tuition and maintenance loan after you have left higher education and are earning at least £21,000. This £21,000 threshold will increase in line with earnings from 2016 onwards. If for any reason your income falls below £21,000 your repayments will be suspended, for example if you take maternity leave.

The amount repaid each month will depend on your earnings - repayments will be 9% of your income above £21,000.

  • The amount you repay each month will be the same, regardless of how much you have borrowed.

Example

If you are earning £21,500 – the current salary of a newly-qualified teacher – you would initially make repayments of £4 per month. The monthly repayment would increase to £23 for if you earn £24,000 per year; £30 for a salary of £25,000; £45 for £27,000; and £68 for £30,000.

Loan Repayment Calculator

Use the Loan Repayment Calculator developed by the Dept for Business Innovation and Skills to work out the likely cost of your repayments.

Making repayments

Repayments will be deducted automatically from your pay packet through the tax system.

Interest rates

  • Interest on your loan will be charged at inflation plus 3% while you are studying, and up until the April after you leave university.
  • From the April after you leave university if you are earning below £21,000, interest will be applied at the rate of inflation.
  • If, after you leave university, you earn between £21,000 and £41,000 you will be charged interest on a sliding scale up to a maximum of inflation plus 3%.
  • If, after you leave university, you earn above £41,000 you will be charged interest at the full rate of inflation plus 3%.
  • All outstanding repayments will be written off after 30 years.

More information

For further information go to www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance

What is in the Access Agreement? What financial support will be available?

Approximately £10.6 million is earmarked to be spent on access measures to ensure students from lower income backgrounds are not deterred from applying to UCL.

  • Our financial support measures for students from lower income backgrounds include cash awards and accommodation discounts, meaning that financial assistance is available in the form best-suited to the individual student's needs.

Students entering in 2014

In 2014/15, the National Scholarship Programme at UCL will be assessed on the basis of household income. To be eligible for the UCL Undergraduate Bursary / NSP, students will have to be domiciled in the UK/EU, in their first year of study and have a household income of less than £25,000.

For students with an assessed household income of less than, or equal to £12,000, the award will comprise:

  • an accommodation bursary, or tuition fee bursary of £5,000;
  • plus, a cash bursary of £1,000

For students with an assessed household income of more than £12,000 and less than or equal to £25,000, the award will comprise:

  • an accommodation bursary, or tuition fee bursary of £2,500;
  • plus, a cash bursary of £1,000

UCL will continue to fund students on lower household incomes throughout the duration of their studies. From their second year onwards, 2014/15 entrants with a household income of less than £25,000 will receive a cash bursary of £2,000 per year.  

Students with an assessed household income of between £25,001 and £42,611 will receive:

  • a cash bursary of £1,000

Students will receive the bursary each year for the duration of their studies at UCL, provided that their household income remains within this range. 

REMEMBER: Tuition fees from 2012 onwards do not have to be paid up front. The Government provides students with a tuition fee loan. There will also be a range of financial support available for students including non-means-tested loans to help with living expenses, plus means-tested grants and scholarships.

How will the additional fee income be used by UCL?

  • 30% (approximately £10.6 million) of the additional income raised will be spent on providing support for students from lower income backgrounds to ensure they are not deterred from applying to UCL. This includes approximately £7.9 million for financial measures and £2.7 million for outreach and retention activities.
  • The additional income will allow an appropriate level of investment to maintain and enhance the student experience at UCL – this includes our high academic standards, our libraries, teaching laboratories, IT and other essential facilities upon which students rely.
  • Much of the additional income will help UCL recover from the reduction of the government teaching grant.

UCL's tuition fees will be set at £9,000.

Approximately £10.6 million is earmarked to be spent on access measures to ensure students from lower income backgrounds are not deterred from applying to UCL.

Students entering in 2014

In 2014/15, the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) at UCL will be assessed on the basis of household income. To be eligible for the UCL Undergraduate Bursary / NSP, students will have to be domiciled in the UK/EU, in their first year of study and have a household income of less than £25,000.

For students with an assessed household income of less than, or equal to £12,000, the award will comprise:

  • an accommodation bursary, or tuition fee bursary of £5,000;
  • plus, a cash bursary of £1,000

For students with an assessed household income of more than £12,000 and less than or equal to £25,000, the award will comprise:

  • an accommodation bursary, or tuition fee bursary of £2,500;
  • plus, a cash bursary of £1,000

UCL will continue to fund students on lower household incomes throughout the duration of their studies. From their second year onwards, 2014/15 entrants with a household income of less than £25,000 will receive a cash bursary of £2,000 per year.  

Students with an assessed household income of between £25,001 and £42,611 will receive:

  • a cash bursary of £1,000

Students will receive the bursary each year for the duration of their studies at UCL, provided that their household income remains within this range. 

REMEMBER: Tuition fees from 2012 onwards do not have to be paid up front. The Government provides students with a tuition fee loan. There will also be a range of financial support available for students including non-means-tested loans to help with living expenses, plus means-tested grants and scholarships.

UCL currently engages in a wide range of outreach and widening participation activities. Each year, as part of its outreach agenda, UCL works with over 20,000 young people, 900 parents, 400 teachers and 140 state schools.

Activities currently undertaken include (full details are available on the UCL Outreach website):

  • summer schools
  • Saturday schools
  • 6-week short courses
  • taster sessions
  • masterclasses
  • academic skills sessions
  • a mentoring scheme
  • a primary school outreach scheme using UCL's museums and collections.

These activities will continue in 2014/15.

UCL Horizons Programme

www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/widening-participation/horizons

The Horizons programme is a scheme that encourages sustained engagement with UCL through a regular Year 10 Saturday School which runs across four terms as well as a Summer School. The programme continues with a Year 11 Autumn Careers programme with occasional workshops across the summer school vacation.

Other activities 

UCL has comitted to a wide range of further activities in the following areas:

  • Pre-16 aspiration and achievement-raising
  • Post-16 preparation for higher education
  • Parnerships and collaborations

These are detailed in full in our Access Agreement which is available to download by clcking the link below:

UCL has committed to a range of targets which are ambitious, but reflective of an institution with our own distinct ethos of openness.

Application-oriented Targets

UCL's application-oriented targets focus on lower socio-economic groups and low participation neighbourhoods. 

UCL will seek to:

  • Increase applications from prospective students from lower socio-economic groups (SEC 4-8) by 25% over the period 2012-2017 with an annual milestone of a 5% increase. Baseline for this target is 2784 applications.
  • Increase applications from prospective students from low participation neighbourhoods (POLAR group 1) by 25% over the period 2012-2017 with an annual milestone of a 5% increase. Baseline for this target is 922 applications.

Student Intake Targets

Student intake targets focus on state school as well as the lower socio-economic group and low participation neighbourhood HESA performance indicator categories. Recognising that retention is as important as intake for widening participation, UCL is also setting a target for degree programme achievement. 

UCL will seek to:

  • Increase its percentage of intake from state schools by 10% over the period 2012-2017 with an annual milestone of a 2% increase. Baseline for this target is the 2011 HESA performance indicator figure of 65.3%. 
  • Increase its percentage of intake from lower social class by 5% over the period 2012-2017 with an annual milestone of a 1% increase. Baseline for this target is the 2011 HESA performance indicator figure of 17.5%.
  • Increase its percentage of intake from low participation neighbourhoods by 5% over the period 2012-2017 with an annual milestone of a 1% increase. Baseline for this target is the 2011 HESA performance indicator figure of 3.8%.
  • Each year, achieve and maintain a projected outcome (awards) percentage of 90% for undergraduate students. Baseline for this target is the 2011 HESA performance indicator figure of 89.8%.
  • As UCL is introducing a number of new activities, some requiring sustained engagement, it is envisaged that movement towards targets will be incremental. However, it is anticipated that UCL will achieve the HESA benchmarks in these areas over the course of the period 2012-2017.

Outreach Activity Milestones

UCL will seek to:

  • Recruit 100 students a year to the Horizons Year 11 Saturday School programme and achieve sustained engagement with attendees of the scheme during their Year 12 and 13 studies.
  • Recruit 50 students a year to the attainment activity "Aspire" delivered for A level students at City & Islington College, leading to at least 20% of cohort making applications to UCL.
  • Engage with 2500 primary school children per year through UCL's Museum and Collections activity.
  • Deliver Year 9 "University Challenge" blocks of activity with at least 10 schools reaching 300 students.
  • Deliver five "UCL Discovery Days" for parents and students with 150 attendees across all days.
  • Recruit 50 student advocates (25 current students, 25 alumni) to deliver sessions in their previous schools.
  • Recruit 100 Year 12 students to UCL's "Uni Link" scheme, providing support to enhance progression through to Year 13 and into university.
  • Recruit a minimum of 50 students from a looked after background to attend bespoke events aimed at this group.