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London students offered up to £15k to not go to university this year


Coronavirus has caused lots of students to crave a new normal and get off to university.

In order to make sure there aren’t too many people on the certain courses, some universities are offering students eye-watering packages to take a gap year instead of starting university straight away.

One offer, for example, has been made by Leeds University for medical and business students.

The eye watering offer includes £10k being given to students who decide to defer from these courses, followed by their first year accommodation rent free.

The offer has to be applied for and students find out over the next couple of days if they received the deal worth nearly £15k.

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Rory Windon, 18, Ealing, has decided to apply for the offer with the University of Leeds, he said: “It’s £10k. What on earth I’m surprised that anyone would not take the offer. And the first year is rent free so basically it adds up to around £15k.

Leeds university building where they have offered huge grants.

“I’ll use the money to go travelling or just to save. With coronavirus it’s not even certain whether we’ll be able to go away but I’ll just save and work. I’m signing up for the business course. I didn’t realize it would be that oversubscribed.

“Basically, the deal, if accepted, is they will give me £5k in September and then another £5k when I enroll on the course next September. I also won’t have to pay for my first year accommodation. This will probably save me another £6k.”

Universities often give out many more places on their courses than they actually have. This is to make sure courses are full because of changes in students’ plans, students not achieving the grades needed for entry, and other changes in circumstance.

This year there was an increased amount of students reaching top grades so the courses have been oversubscribed.

Universities have to give a place to all people they’ve accepted so they are now offering tempting gift packages for those that defer a year and sort their overcrowding problem out.

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There are however some students who don’t want to take this tempting offer. Also those who haven’t had the offer because their courses aren’t so oversubscribed.

Samantha Arcristopher, 19, London, is starting at Leeds this year in medicine, she said: “I was also offered the same deal of £10k and don’t get me wrong I was very tempted to take the offer.

“I’m not wealthy and could really use the money. I just don’t think that after the last few years of coronavirus I could wait to go to university. I’ve been working so hard to get a spot there and am just too excited to go.

“Some people would say it’s a silly decision but I still get loans from the government for my time at university. When I come out at the end of university I doubt I will be regretful of the decision I made.”

Universities such as Bristol also joined in the compensation scheme, paying students to defer their year at university.

Just under 45% of achieved top grades for A-level results for England, Wales and Northern Ireland have reached a record high – with 44.8% getting A* or A grades.

This second year of replacement results after exams were cancelled, has seen even higher results than last year when 38.5% achieved top grades.

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A spokesperson for the University of Leeds, said: “The combination of subject demand, the popularity of the University of Leeds, and the much higher than anticipated level of students awarded the highest grades, has resulted in an unprecedented increase in the number of students we have to accept into the schools of business and law.

“This is due to the unprecedented number of students [who] have achieved the highest grades across a wide range of subjects”.

The Russell Group institution is not taking part in clearing this year and it will only accept students who meet or exceed their offer grades.

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