STUDENTS from cash- strapped families will get extra money to help them through university.
It was revealed that around 400,000 UK students from low income households will receive £300m in non-repayable grants and bursaries after starting university in 2006.
The financial support - intended to help with living costs - will go to students whose families earn under £33,000 a year. It is likely to help many Huddersfield families.
The amount given to students will vary depending on their family income.
For example, students with family incomes under £15,000 will get £2,700 a year from the Government and £1,000 from their university.
Tim Boatswain, pro-vice chancellor of Huddersfield University, hopes the cash will increase the number of people from deprived households attending university.
He said: "In 1989, only around 15% of the population went to university.
"Now the figure is 43%, but the amount of people from low- income households attending university has not really increased.
"People don't have to go to uni- versity to be skilled, but everyone should have the opportunity."
Universities have been allowed to set their own bursaries - providing they are above £300 and have been approved by the independent education watchdog, the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).
Huddersfield University is giving away cash bursaries - £1,000 a year for students with a family income of £15,970, £750 a year for incomes under £20,000 and £500 a year for incomes under £25,000.
Some universities are giving out bursaries in the form of equipment rather than cash.
Others are giving subject- specific bursaries or setting up scholarship schemes based on academic merit.
The grants and bursaries will be paid out from September 2006 - when controversial new tuition fees will also begin.
The Government has said universities can charge a maximum of £3,000 a year per student.
All but two universities have adopted the maximum fee - which is roughly triple the amount most students currently pay.
Fees will no longer be paid up-front but will be paid off when students have graduated and are earning at least £15,000.
Mr Boatswain explained that fees are needed because the Government cannot meet the costs of higher education.
He said: "During the 1990s, the number of people going to university shot up.
"The Government didn't realise numbers would go up so fast.
"Then everything was funded by taxpayers and there is only so much you can ask the taxpayer for.
"Fixed fees came in, but universities were not getting enough money and had make cutbacks.
"We are now charging the maximum £3,000 so we can use the money to improve facilities, get the staff to student ratio down and attract students by offering good quality education."