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Regional universities targeting students in London

Posted on: Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

A growing number of students are opting to attend universities outside of London due to the high costs of living in the capital, it has been reported.

Experts have warned that with the exception of some of the top universities, many institutions could be struggling to fill course places ahead of the publication of A-level results on Thursday August 13th.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University, said in an interview with the Evening Standard: “Some Russell Group universities have given unconditional offers and a lot of their places are already spoken for. They might not have any places available after Thursday. But the newer institutions may be struggling to fill their places.”

Many universities may struggle to attract more students due to the various policy changes unveiled by the government.

For example, the government has lifted the cap on student numbers. It means that universities are no longer limited in the amount of students they can take.

As a result, this means non-Russell group universities are no longer able to rely upon attracting intelligent students who were unable to get into the top institutions.

However, there is some evidence that many universities are beginning to increase their efforts to boost their student numbers.

Those based outside of London have led the way in helping to attract greater numbers of pupils.

In particular, George Osborne's decision to scrap the maintenance grant for poorer students is likely to entice more and more people to seek cheaper alternatives outside of London.

A report published within the Independent claimed that many of the universities outside of London are actively targeting those living within the capital as part of a bid to attract more students into the institutions.

The Independent report said that universities such as Leicester and Hull are offering incentives to London school-leavers to enrol with them.

For example, Leicester has entered into a formal “partnership agreement” with seven schools in London.

As part of the collaboration, one student per school will be offered a £1,000 scholarship to attend the university.

According to the Independent, a range of secondary schools, academies and high-performing sixth-form colleges have been targeted by higher education institutions that have offered mini courses and lectures.

Many of these are aimed at helping students through the application process.

In an interview published by the newspaper, Jonathan Tinnacher, co-ordinator of the university’s London to Leicester project, said: "Students who come here have all the benefits of leaving London, including the lower cost of living, but are not going very far away.

"Leicester, like London, is very multicultural. If you are from London, you will get off the train in Leicester and think everything feels quite familiar.”