During the summer months much University work continues, especially in research, summer schools, conferences and, of course, admissions, but the campus is much quieter because of the absence of most of our undergraduates. All that is about to change as a fresh academic year swings into action with our Welcome Week for new students, which begins at the weekend. I always look forward to the campus springing back to life at this time of year.
This year we will be welcoming more than 2000 new students from Scotland, elsewhere in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. This year’s admissions cycle has been fraught with controversy owing to the very different arrangements for paying the tuition costs of students domiciled in different jurisdictions.
It is incorrect to say that tuition is free for Scottish and EU students. It is just that these costs are not borne by students themselves, but by the Scottish Government which provides for their tuition within the University’s core grant administered by the Scottish Funding Council. Tuition fees are payable, however, by overseas students and by students from elsewhere in the UK many of whom will be supported by a generous bursary scheme.
This is not the place to debate the rights and wrongs of this situation. The good news to report is that our 2012 intake will comprise the usual vibrant mix of Scots together with a myriad of other nationalities including students from every corner of the UK. They will enjoy the best student experience to be found anywhere in the UK.
The continuing diversity of the student population here in Dundee is a cause for celebration broadening horizons and developing cultural understanding amongst staff and students alike. Our commitment is to treat all students alike and we start by giving you the warmest possible welcome to the city and our campuses. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during the frenetic week that follows.