St Mary’s University College, Twickenham announced today that its 2012/13 undergraduate tuition fees are to be set at £8,000 per annum.

Bishop StackAt a meeting of the University College Governors yesterday (24th March), Bishop George Stack, Chair of Governors, confirmed that St Mary’s was committed to offering high quality education with a distinctive mission.

Bishop Stack said today: “St Mary’s mission seeks to assist its students to have successful careers and flourishing lives by developing intellectually, physically and spiritually. Financially strong and located on a beautiful and peaceful campus in Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, the University College has excellent teaching, high levels of student satisfaction and a very strong record of graduate employment."

He added: “Since our foundation in 1850 we have had a particular mission to assist young people from non-privileged backgrounds and we are highly successful at promoting access and widening participation.”

Prof EslerSt Mary’s Principal Professor Philip Esler added: “In setting a fee of £8,000 we have been very mindful of our mission and we have chosen to treat our students fairly, by not using the introduction of higher fees to make windfall profits from them. The £8,000 figure compensates for the loss of teaching grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Training & Development Agency (TDA) and for the reduction of HEFCE capital funding, as well as including an amount per student for widening access under our proposed Office for Fair Access (OFFA) agreement.

“Our decision to charge the same fee to all undergraduate students recognises the high value of what we offer them in our community of trust and respect, built on a Catholic ethos. We are leaders in the personal attention and support we give to our students, so that they say, ‘St Mary’s knows me by name.’”

Professor Esler continued: “The increased fees our students will pay mean we must improve our offer to them, and we are totally focused on this. We are greatly increasing learning resources, revising our programmes and the way we deliver them, expanding our unique credit-bearing work-placement modules, promoting international opportunities, improving the look and facilities of our campus, refurbishing our residences and streamlining our administrative procedures.

“We will fund these initiatives from staff and operational savings we are currently implementing (including a voluntary severance scheme) and by increasing postgraduate, international and research/knowledge transfer income, and expanding our development activities.”