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What you need to know about universities offering cash for deferrals and transfers

Oversubscribed universities have been offering cash and free accommodation to students who are prepared to defer their studies for a year or transfer to a different institution. Here’s what you need to know

In a record year for A-level students meeting their offers, some universities are finding themselves oversubscribed and are offering cash to students who are prepared to defer for a year or transfer to another institution.

So far this looks to apply mostly to medicine and dentistry, despite the government extending its cap on places for those courses, but some law and business students have received similar offers. 

You can read more about the DfE extending the cap in their blog post.

Why are universities offering cash to students?

The Medical Schools Council and Department for Education (DfE) have set up the Incentivised Transfer Scheme, offering £10,000 to students if they move schools.

Read the government's post explaining the details on the DfE blog.

There is no list of the universities that are taking part. Universities making use of the scheme will be contacting students directly.

Members of our sister site The Student Room have been discussing the incentives in this thread on our forums. If you’ve heard from a university that is taking part in the scheme, head over there to let us know.

How does the Incentivised Transfer Scheme work?

The 2021 Medical and Dentistry School Student Incentivised Transfer Scheme offers students with places to study medicine and dentistry at an oversubscribed university a £10,000 incentive to change medical schools.

The £10,000 incentive is being funded by the government and the oversubscribed universities taking part.

Who is eligible for the scheme?

You need to be holding a firm offer at an oversubscribed university. 

Your university will get in touch with you if you are eligible. You'll receive a letter explaining your options.

Places at alternative universities will be available through the scheme until 8:30am on Tuesday 17 August.

Can I transfer to any university with a medical and dentistry school?

Not all universities are able to accept students by transfer. If you are eligible you will be provided with a list of available places to consider.

Places for transfer are only available at institutions that have been given permission to expand their places.

Will transfer places be available for everyone?

The scheme is limited so not all students who want to transfer will be able to do so.

It’s not clear how universities will prioritise students who apply to transfer.

The information provided by the DfE says, “priority order will be determined by those the receiving provider approves first. This does not necessarily mean those students first to register but we do recommend that students act quickly, after getting suitable advice.”

What if I don’t want to transfer?

If you’ve been offered one of these incentives or schemes there is no obligation for you to agree to it. All of these schemes and offers are optional.

What universities have offered cash to students?

Exeter University is offering a similar deal to medical students, offering £10,000 and the first year’s accommodation for free if students are willing to defer until next year.

Are students for other courses being offered any incentives?

The University of Leeds has offered some students wanting to study law or business £10,000 cash and free accommodation in halls for their first year if they are prepared to defer their studies for a year. 

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