An Access Agreement is a document setting out how a university or college charging higher fees intends to safeguard and promote fair access to higher education through its outreach work, financial support etc. Access Agreement bursaries are available for lower income students – the income assessment and amounts vary. The bursaries can be cash or can be a ‘discounted service’ e.g. accommodation or fees. As the fees loan is available to all we would advise taking cash or discounted services such as accommodation where possible.
There is no minimum bursary in England from academic year 2012/13 onward. English universities are being encouraged to offer the bursaries to eligible Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish students who attend university in England. Individual institutions have different schemes, some of which will also be open to EU students.
Universities in Northern Ireland have similar arrangements as above. However, amounts will vary depending on the different university or college that you go to. You should contact them directly to find out more.
Universities in Wales also have a similar scheme. But for new students in Wales from 2011/12 the Welsh National Bursary Scheme has been combined into the amount of Assembly Learning Grant or Special Support Grant you may receive. However, your university may still be offering additional bursaries, so contact them directly for information.
Scottish Universities may also offer bursaries. Visit the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) website for more information.
You must agree to the ‘consent to share’ part of the student finance application form in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be considered for a bursary. If you are a Scottish domiciled student studying outside Scotland, SAAS will send you a form to complete to give your consent in a similar way. EU students may also be eligible. You must agree to the ‘consent to share’ part of the student finance application form to be considered.