A university is offering financial incentives to encourage students to enter its science courses.
Universities are offering financial support as fees are set to rise
Reading University is offering £2,000 scholarships for "high achieving" students who accept places on a number of science, maths and language courses.
There will also be a type of performance pay - with "achievement" rewards for high-performing students in their second and third years.
The payments will be from autumn 2006 - when the fees system is overhauled.
In the forthcoming reform of student finance, universities will be able to charge up to £3,000 per year in tuition fees - with part of this increased revenue to be spent on providing financial assistance to students.
In particular, universities are being encouraged to offer support to students from low-income families - with means-tested bursaries being provided to help students offset the cost of their degree course.
But the financial offers to students are also becoming part of the recruitment process - including universities offering cash to students with higher grades.
This latest announcement from Reading University says that £2,000 "entrance scholarships" will be available for students with good A-levels in physics, chemistry, biology, natural sciences, pharmacy, agriculture, food science and nutrition, mathematics and modern languages.
The "achievement scholarships" will "reward students who achieve excellent results during each year of study. In this way, all students are motivated to work to their potential," says the university.
There will also be a means-tested bursary of up to £1,300 per year for students from low-income families.
The "bidding war" to recruit students follows a series of course closures in these subject areas. Exeter University is closing its chemistry course, Hull University is to scrap its maths course and Newcastle University and has closed its pure physics course.