Durham University extends £5,000 deferral payment offer to more students

By James Robinson

One of the North East's most prominent universities has extended an offer of a £5,000 payment to prospective freshers amid huge demand for places.

Last week Durham University revealed it had offered to pay students thousands of pounds to defer their applications following unprecedented success for school and college pupils in this year's A-level exams.

Initially, the offer was made to students who planned to study English Studies, Music Classics, Biosciences, History, Psychology, Geography and Management.

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However, the institution has said the offer has now been expanded to the following subjects:

  • Computer Science
  • Law
  • Liberal Arts
  • Natural Sciences,
  • Physics
  • PPE
  • Primary Education

When questioned about the reasons behind the decision, the university issued the same statement provided to The Chronicle last week.

A spokesman for the university said: "We are offering this scheme because of the unprecedented success of students in this year’s A-levels and other level 3 qualifications, and to help ensure the best possible academic and wider student experience for all students through targeted action to manage the sizes of some of our new entry cohorts in Departments and in our Colleges.

“Whether students chose to begin their studies with us this year or next, they can look forward a world-class academic and wider student experience.”

The university also declined to reveal figures on the number of students who had taken up the offer.

Prospective students had criticised the offer with one student, who asked not to be identified, claiming she felt she had been bribed not to go to the university.

It comes around a month before the first teaching week at Durham, which begins on October 4.

A-level grades were this year based on teacher assessments rather than exams due to the ongoing pressures of the coronavirus crisis on school students.

The proportion of A* and A grades rose to 44.3 per cent in 2021, compared with 38.1 per cent in 2020 and 25.2 per cent in 2019, the last year when exams took place.

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