Russell Group unis paid students up to £15k to defer their places

Students were given cash in hand or had their accommodation costs covered for a year

Russell Group universities paid students thousands of pounds to defer their places, because courses were oversubscribed.

Nine of the UK’s top universities shelled out a total of £9m in accommodation discounts or cash for incoming students.

This is to combat the rise in number of successful applicants due to the inflation of A-Level grades.

Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, Durham, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and UCL are all offering students accommodation discounts or cash in hand to defer their places.

Last year, almost 400,000 students met the requirements for their preferred university- an all time record.

The government caps the number of places on courses such as medicine and dentistry, meaning that unis are increasingly turning to incentivising deferral as an option.

An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph revealed that the University of Leeds paid £10,000 to 275 students and agreed to waive their first year accommodation costs, if they deferred their places at uni.

Durham University paid £5,000 to 209 students if they suspended their studies while Manchester handed £195,00 in cash to students as well as cutting their accommodation costs.

A Russell Group spokesman said the all the across the 24 universities that make up the body, intake from the UK has expanded by 28 per cent over the past two years.

He added: “In a small number of cases, universities offered applicants voluntary deferrals, often for courses like medicine or dentistry where numbers are capped by the government.”

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