University agrees fees and wide ranging bursaries for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Friday 9 September 2011

The University of St Andrews has set the level of tuition fee it proposes to charge new undergraduate students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Rest of UK) from 2012/2013 at £9,000 per year for all courses.

St Andrews has also announced a wide-ranging package of new bursaries, scholarships and financial aid. The package will provide substantial support to RUK students, students from Scotland and students from overseas.

The decisions were sanctioned today (Friday 9 September 2011) by the University Court, meeting in St Andrews.

The University was required to set and publish its indicative fee levels for RUK undergraduate students as a consequence of decisions taken by the Westminster and Scottish governments. The removal of the tuition fee cap in England has prompted the Scottish Government to announce that it plans to cease direct funding for RUK students who choose to study in Scotland from 2012/2013. From that date, Scottish universities must set and collect their own fees from this cohort of students.

At today’s meeting, Court was advised that it currently costs £11,772 to teach one undergraduate student for a year at St Andrews and that this investment in teaching and the academic experience was reflected in the university’s consistently high ranking for teaching quality in the National Student Survey.

In agreeing to set fee levels for RUK students at £9,000 per year – less than the cost of teaching – Court also sought to temper the effect of fee rises by approving a comprehensive new package of bursaries and financial aid.

The bursary package will address not only the additional costs of tuition fees payable by some undergraduates, but other major costs associated with attending university, including accommodation and cost of living expenses.

It will mean that entrant undergraduate students from the RUK whose household income is less than £42,600 need face no upfront costs to attend the University of St Andrews.

The University will commit 40% of the additional fee income it receives from RUK students to bursaries and financial aid. This is 10% greater than the level of support expected by English universities by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

In addition, Scotland’s oldest university has committed to raise £13 million for further scholarships and bursaries as part of its 600th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal.

The new financial aid measures agreed by Court today will provide:

  • An extensive new package of financial support for cost-of-living expenses for every RUK domiciled undergraduate student who qualifies according to the means-tested Government guidelines (covering household incomes of up to £42,600). Students will receive £7,500 per year from a combination of University and Government support schemes. The University contribution will be paid in cash.
  • An extensive new package of financial support for cost-of-living expenses for 50 Scottish-domiciled undergraduate students who qualify according to means-tested Government guidelines (covering household incomes of up to £42,600).
  • 25 means-tested entrant bursaries of up to £4,000 per year for international undergraduate students.
  • A new Fife Dux scholarship of £7,500 per year in cash for successful applicants who have had the best aggregate results in any of Fife’s secondary schools. This seeks to strengthen the links between the University and Fife’s schools.
  • A new scheme of scholarships for excellence. The University has a responsibility to encourage excellence amongst students during their university careers. This may be achieved by offering all undergraduate students, including those from less privileged backgrounds, an opportunity to win scholarships in their final year based upon merit. The scholarship scheme will offer 100 awards of £5,000 each to those final-year undergraduates who achieve the highest academic results in their programmes of study. In this way the University will reward excellence as well as meet financial needs.

St Andrews Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said:

“A fee of £9,000 per annum to attend St Andrews is a very good deal and does not cover the cost of the education provided nor does it reflect the lifelong benefits accrued by our students.

“We recognise, however, that this is a significant change for our RUK students and to mitigate its impact we are introducing a comprehensive bursary and scholarship program in order to ensure that those qualified to attend St Andrews will be able to afford to do so.

“Moreover, we have used the externally imposed change as a catalyst to review our financial aid schemes and will now introduce a number of new scholarships and bursaries for local students, for Scots and international students as well as for RUK students.  As a mark of our commitment to academic excellence we will also offer merit based scholarships to our top performing students in their final year.

“We are not a wealthy institution. In spite of our age and our international standing our endowment is remarkably small. Indeed, the primary purpose of our 600th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign is to build a large and lasting endowment to support our students and staff. Quite simply, we cannot afford not to charge £9,000 per annum.”

In agreeing to the new bursary packages and to set its indicative fees for RUK undergraduate students at £9000 per year, the St Andrews Court considered the following:

  • The high quality of the St Andrews teaching and academic experience is endorsed by the findings of the National Student Survey. For six years in succession, the university has come top in Scotland and among the top in the UK in this annual assessment of academic quality and experience.  It is consistently ranked as one of the UK’s top 10 universities in national league tables (The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Complete University Guide) and is the only Scottish university judged to be among the UK’s top performers by these tables.
  • The high quality of St Andrews teaching and academic experience is provided at considerable but worthwhile cost. The actual cost of teaching a student for one year in St Andrews is £11,772. Setting the maximum fee level means that teaching will still be provided to RUK students at a loss to the university.
  • St Andrews has a longstanding commitment to widen access and to encourage applications from prospective students from non-traditional HE backgrounds. It has made a public promise to seek to raise £13 million to support a range of new scholarships and bursaries as part of the £100 million 600th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign.
  • Most of St Andrews’ 1994 Group and Russell Group competitors are to charge the maximum £9000 per year across all subjects. Universities which rank significantly below St Andrews in domestic league tables are also to charge the maximum £9000 per year.
  • The discrepancy between the current fee regime in Scotland and the new regime in England creates a significant competitive threat to St Andrews from high-ranking English universities which will financially benefit from the new arrangements.
  • St Andrews has a global reach and reputation as a distinctive Scottish provider of world-class teaching and research. Demand is high – currently 10 applications for every place – and the university has one of the strongest and most academically competitive applicant bases in the UK.
  • Contrary to popular perception, many degrees at English competitor HEIs are of 4 years duration, particularly in science subjects.

Full details of the new financial aid packages to be available to RUK, Scottish domiciled and overseas students from 2012/2013 will be published on the St Andrews website – – in due course.

Notes to Editors

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. Teaching began in the community of St Andrews in 1410 and the University was formally constituted by the issue of Papal Bull in 1413. It is now one of Europe’s most research intensive seats of learning – over a quarter of its turnover comes from research grants and contracts.

It is one of the top rated universities in Europe for research, teaching quality and student satisfaction and is consistently ranked among the UK’s top ten in leading independent league tables produced by The Times, The Guardian and the Sunday Times.

Its international reputation for delivering high quality teaching and research and student satisfaction make it one of the most sought after destinations for prospective students from the UK, Europe and overseas.

St Andrews’ undergraduate population is approximately 6,000, of which 30% are Scottish, 36% Rest of the UK, 9% European Union and 25% overseas.

It has a staff of 1,800 and maintains one of the strongest records in the UK for teaching quality, good degrees and student support.

In 2010 the University received on average 10 applications per place. St Andrews has not entered clearing for several years and sets highly challenging asking rates to attract only the most academically potent students in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Divinity.

The University Court is the supreme governing body of the University of St Andrews and has responsibilities for strategy, finance, estates, health and safety and general management.

Its 21 members are drawn from staff, St Andrews students, the local community, alumni, senior managers and the local authority in Fife. Court is chaired by The Rector who is elected by the students and normally serves a three year term.


Issued by the University of St Andrews.

Further information
Niall Scott
Director of Communication
Email [email protected]
Tel 01334 462530/462108/462109

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