Financial support for students gets national recognition
The impressive financial support offered to students by the University of Southampton has gained national recognition with its nomination in the 'Outstanding Student Financial Support Package' category at the prestigious fourth annual Times Higher Awards 2008.
The shortlisting acknowledges the University's commitment to making sure that undergraduates from lower income families receive financial support towards the cost of their study, giving them extra resources which their parents might otherwise have to provide.
Annual bursaries are available to students charged full tuition fees. Students with a household income of less than £25,000 receive £1,000, while those with a household income between £25,001 and £30,000 receive £500. Bursaries of £1000 are also available to local Hampshire and Isle of Wight students whose parents have not been to university and who have a combined income of less than £30,000. First-year students who have left care are eligible for a bursary of £1000.
In 2007/2008 the University awarded over 1700 bursaries totalling £1.5m.
The University's financial information and assistance team works closely with a student finance outreach officer to increase awareness of the financial support available, and last year they launched an innovative awareness campaign called 'Want More Lolly' to encourage applications from current students who might have been eligible for a bursary but had not accessed the funds. Using a web site, stickers, posters and leaflets, a Facebook group, and enlisting the help of the Students' Union, the campaign significantly increased the take up of bursaries.
The University's outreach officer also visits sixth form colleges and schools around the region to promote the bursary scheme and raise awareness of extra Government funding available to these students, encouraging them to come to university.
Dr Janice Rippon, the University's Director of Student Services, says: "The University ensures all students are fully aware of their financial entitlement and are able to take full advantage of the funds available to them here at Southampton. Our staff have shown a genuine commitment to the University's widening participation agenda through a very practical and accessible approach."
She adds: "The University is very proud of the additional financial support it offers to groups of students, drawn from the local area and who may not otherwise go to university, in such a proactive way. This nomination will help draw prospective students' attention to the financial assistance Southampton has to offer them and this is a prize in itself."
Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris comments: "Our generous bursary support package aims to encourage the best and brightest students to choose to study here at Southampton, regardless of their financial background. The bursary scheme is complimented by our successful outreach activities with schools and colleges, ensuring that young people from all backgrounds are aware of the possibilities and prospects that higher education can offer them."
This year, a record number of entries from 140 higher education institutions were received for the Times Higher Awards. The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on Thursday 23 October at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.
Notes for editors
The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities.
With over 22,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover of over £350 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.
The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies and the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute