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Disabled students and students from groups underrepresented at postgraduate level are to benefit from the funding.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced that the University of Birmingham will be one of five Universities to receive more than £1m to support disabled students and those from disadvantaged groups to undertake taught postgraduate studies.

£50m of funding has been divided up between 120 universities and six further education colleges by HEFCE, with the University of Birmingham among the biggest recipients.

The amount allocated to each institution was calculated on the basis of how many students at the universities were from areas of the country with low participation in higher education, or receiving the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

The announcement, made via letter to heads of institutions, stated that UK and EU students who have paid undergraduate tuition fees of £9000 should be focused on.

It is expected that the funding will support at least 200 students through a taught postgraduate degree, and full and part-time students on courses of up to two years will be able to benefit from the funding. The money is being granted to help students with postgraduate funding prior to the implementation of postgraduate loans in the 2016-17 academic year.

The universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Kings College London and University College London will also receive more than £1m of funding.

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