Universities offering two-for-one deals on degrees
If you thought ‘BOGOF’ deals were just for supermarkets, turns out you were wrong! Unis announce major deals on degrees in a quest to increase numbers.Can’t say we ever thought we’d see the day that student deals and uni fees crossed paths – but it seems that day has come, and it’s just as bizarre as it sounds!
Unis in England have announced they’ll be dishing out discounts and freebies such as iPads and tickets to Premier League matches as an incentive to get intelligent bums on lecture hall seats, amidst fears of a low turn out this academic year.
Taking a more commercial approach to recruiting students this year, unis such as Sheffield, Kent, Kingston, York and Lancaster have announced they’ll be offering discounts to high-fliers looking to move into postgraduate study, with one uni even offering an Master's free of charge!
This news comes after it was announced that the government will be offering tuition fee loans to postgrad students this year for the first time ever, but will also be removing the current £9,000 per year tuition fee cap on undergraduate degrees so that universities can start charging more in line with inflation.
Why are unis offering freebies?
Kent were one of the first unis in the country to announce they’d be increasing tuition fees next year to £9,250 (before, it’s worth mentioning, the rise was even officially discussed in parliament), but this move to offer substantial discounts to new applicants suggests they’re struggling to fill places at the university.
Fears of a falling number of places taken up by EU students in the wake of Brexit is a real concern for UK universities, as it's thought that many students who have already been accepted on to UK courses might not go through with their decision.
Last month, Aberystwyth University reported that around 100 EU students had cancelled their places following the vote to leave the EU.
A fall was also been reported in the number of 18-year-olds applying for university in 2016, particularly young males, suggesting that females will continue to dominate university spaces for another year. Head of UCAS, Mary Crannock Cook, has commented that this fall in young applicants means that "talented students are in demand".
This would explain why discounts are being offered to students likely to move on to a higher level of postgraduate study, but doesn't account for one university's 10% 'refer a friend' discount, which seems more concerned with securing more fee-paying students than rewarding high achievers.
What’s up for grabs?
The most notable discounts we found on offer this year were the following:
- Sheffield University is offering a free Master’s (value up to £10k) to any straight-A students who sign up to an undergrad degree with them
- York University is offering 10% off postgrad courses to their own undergraduate students as an incentive to continue studying with them
- Kingston University is planning to offer 25% off an MA to any of their undergrad students who plan to go straight into a postgrad
- Kent University are offering £1,000 off postgraduate courses as well as a 10% discount on first-year tuition fees for any family member they refer to enroll at the university
- Lancaster University is offering 10% off postgrads and says it will increase the discount to 20% for those who get first class honours in their undergrad
- De Montfort University are offering students free tickets to watch the Premier League champions, Leicester City
- Other incentives like free iPads, airport transfers, and more.
So who knows, you could start seeing discounts on uni degrees appearing on our Student Deals page soon enough – watch this space!
Do you think it's a good think that unis have started offering discounts, or are you worried about this commercial approach to recruiting students? Let us know what you think!