Move comes as A-level grades hit record highs
The University of Leeds is offering law students £10,000 in cash and free accommodation to defer their course start dates until 2022.
The tempting offer comes after top grades for A-level results reached record highs, creating uncertainty about grade inflation and leaving many top universities with oversubscribed courses. This year 44.8% of A-levels in the UK were awarded an A or A*, compared to just 25% in 2019.
Deputy vice chancellor of Leeds Uni, Professor Peter Jimack, says the switch to teacher-assessed grades in response to the pandemic had made it “harder to predict” the number of successful applicants.
He told the BBC: “We’ve contacted students on a small number of programmes in two schools to let them know that we are going to make them an offer to defer to next year with an incentive of a cash payment of about £10,000 and our fee for their halls of residence in their first year being paid by the university.”
Professor Jimack stressed the deal is an “entirely free choice” and any student who takes it up will receive online materials to help them prepare for their revised start dates.
The report adds that some business students are being offered the same deferral deal.
But Leeds isn’t the first uni to offer deferral packages this year. It was reported earlier this summer that Exeter University was offering aspiring doctors a bursary of £10,000 and a year’s free accommodation to defer their studies until 2022.