Elite uni’s woo top students with iPads and cash

Chris Hudson-Wallis
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Top uni’s will offer cash incentives and rent rebates to attract high flying students through clearing…

Top students are to be offered cash and iPads by universities desperate to attract high-fliers.

Free mini iPads, laptops, tickets to celebrity lectures and rent rebates, as well as thousands of pounds of scholarships, are on the list to be offered to students on results day as many of Britain’s elite universities enter clearing for the first time.

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Some students will be wooed with iPads and cash…


What prizes unis are offering

Coventry – £1,000 scholarship, £1,500 off accommodation, chance to attend celebrity lectures and free laptops

Southampton – £3,000 off fees

Sussex – £5,000 scholarship

Essex – bursaries of up to £2,000


Don Nutbeam, the vice-chancellor at Southampton, said: “We are competing with 20 or 30 other universities for the most talented. It will be a genuine market place with students using it to try to get a better offer.”

The battle-lines have been drawn after Government ministers decided to allow universities to recruit unlimited numbers of applicants with grades of ABB and above.

At Sussex the high-flying students who qualify are being offered scholarships worth £5,000 and at Coventry the offer to top students is a £1,000 scholarship or £1,500 off university accommodation and the chance to attend star lectures.

The competition will be fierce because many vice-chancellors believe there is a time limit on the lifting of the cap. The cost to the government, who underwrite each student’s £9,000 fees, is thought to be too high.

Southampton will accept students through clearing this year...

Southampton will accept students through clearing this year…

Nick Foskett, the vice-chancellor at Keele, said: “Universities want to grow and there is a small window of opportunity. In theory we can recruit unlimited numbers of ABB students and the Treasury will pick up the tab. That will not continue.”

Those who do not achieve the required grades for their course will most likely still be accepted, providing they score highly in an additional essay qualification, which is taken alongside their A-Levels.

Essex university have said they will still take on students who “fall by a short by a small margin such as one grade.”

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