Leeds University offers students £10,000 and a year's free accommodation to defer places to ease demand

Students expecting to join oversubscribed business and law courses will be offered £10,000 and a year’s free accommodation if they defer, the University of Leeds has confirmed.

The university said the unprecedented number of students getting top grades at A-level on Tuesday has led to it making the offer.

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In a statement, the university said: “This year, an unprecedented number of students have achieved the highest grades across a wide range of subjects and, in common with other universities nationwide, we are having to take steps to meet this unprecedented demand.

The University of Leeds is offering financial incentives to students who defer their places on some of the most popular courses. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“We have already declined to participate in clearing, and we are only accepting offer holders who have met or exceeded the terms of their offer.

“The combination of subject demand, the popularity of the University of Leeds, and the much higher than anticipated level of students awarded the highest grades has resulted in an unprecedented increase in the number of students we have to accept into the Schools of Business and Law.”

The package, which will only be available in relation to certain courses in these specific subjects, includes a £10,000 cash payment; free university accommodation for the 2022/23 academic year and an online support package to help deferring students prepare for university study.

The university said only a limited number of incentive packages were available and they will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

It said: “All eligible students have now been contacted, by email, about this offer. Once the limit is reached, the offer will be closed.

“We will of course secure the place of any student who does not wish to take up this offer.

“We are confident that we can accommodate all other successful offer holders across the many hundreds of other courses that we provide.”

The university would not confirm how many prospective students were eligible for the offer nor how many had already applied.

It did confirm that it is providing 30 extra places for students to study medicine, with that subject also oversubscribed at other universities.

The University of Exeter recently wrote to students who have accepted an offer to study medicine asking if they will delay starting their course until 2022.

And, earlier this week, the Medical Schools Council (MSC), which represents 44 heads of medical schools across the UK, said students who want to study medicine will be offered £10,000 if they choose to move medical schools amid capacity constraints.