1,000 school-leavers could be turned away in summer, UEL warns

Up to 1,000 school-leavers could be turned away this summer by the University of East London.

That’s the shock warning by its vice-chancellor this week who has openly criticised higher education reforms.

“The consequences of new government policies are disastrous for anyone on average A-level grades or has care responsibilities and wants to study near home,” said Prof Patrick McGhee.

“Many will face the stark choice between accepting a cut-price degree on the cheap somewhere else, or just not entering higher education.

“The new scheme will reduce the number of students going to higher education and create an unsustainable burden for the taxpayer, while undermining Britain’s reputation internationally.”

The government scheme takes 20,000 existing places from campuses across the country and reallocates them to universities and further education colleges charging fees less than �7,500 a year.

Most went to FE colleges rather than universities, the vice-chancellor points out.

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That means many universities such as UEL will have to reject students in order to meet lower government allocations, he fears. UEL will have to turn away 1,000 students this year who would otherwise have places—despite record numbers of applications over recent years.

It is one of a few universities offering bursary packages rather than fee waivers, a scheme worth �8m to students in 2012-13.