Freshers paid to move college as record number meet offers

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Durham University plans to move some incoming freshers to different colleges, and will pay those who move £500 compensation.

In an email to incoming undergraduates, the University explained that some colleges are over their total accommodation capacity as a result of high offer attainment. Students had previously been emailed by colleges and offered a place earlier in the year.

The email also proposes that a small number of students may be offered places in additional accommodation that will become part of a College.

First year undergraduates required to move college will be compensated with a £500 cash payment

The University is also offering the opportunity to defer a place at Durham until 2022/23, with deferring students guaranteed their first choice of college. Durham University has already seen unprecedented numbers of deferrals coming into this year, with 485 undergraduate students deferring to 2021-22, compared to 280 undergraduates for 2020-21. Deferrals for 2020-21 were also a 60% increase from the year before.

In 2020, Durham offered deferral bursaries of up to £1,500 in the form of discounts to college accommodation. This move hoped to incentivise students to defer to 2021. No such scheme has been offered this year.

These moves come after a year of record A-level achievement, which has meant more prospective students have met their offers than expected. Nationally, 44.8% of students have got A* or A grades, higher than the 38.5% of students in 2019-20.

Both years saw replacement results after exams were cancelled due to Covid-19. UCAS reported that a record 396,000 students have been confirmed in their first choice course. This is an increase of 8% on the previous year.

Image: Getty Images

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