Budget 2015: Maintenance grants for poorer students to be converted into loans

The BBC is reporting that George Osborne has announced university maintenance grants for lower-income students in England and Wales are to be scrapped from September 2016 and replaced with new loans…

In his budget, Mr Osborne said the grants had become “unaffordable”…

Currently, students from families with annual incomes of £25,000 or less get the full grant of £3,387 a year.

More than half a million students in England receive a maintenance grant from the taxpayer, worth in total £1.57bn a year.

Mr Osborne said the cost of this was set to double to £3bn in the next decade as the cap on student numbers was lifted.

There was a “basic unfairness in asking taxpayers to fund grants for people who are likely to earn a lot more than them”, he said.

“If we don’t tackle this problem, then universities will become under-funded and our students won’t get places, and I’m not prepared to let that happen,” he said.

The new loans will be worth more, at £8,200 a year.

He told the Commons: “So from 2016/17 academic year, we will replace maintenance grants with loans for new students, loans that only have to be paid back once they earn over £21,000 a year.

“And to ensure universities are affordable to all students from all backgrounds we will increase the maintenance loan available to £8,200, the highest amount of support ever provided…

Professor Les Ebdon, director of the Office of Fair Access to higher education, said his organisation would monitor the impact of the change…

More at: Budget 2015: Student maintenance grants scrapped

 

Do you think this change will have an adverse effect on the likelihood of disadvantaged students going into higher education?

I guess the silver lining is the fact that the new loan will be a lot higher than the previous grant when many disadvantaged students have been concerned with having sufficient funds to pay their living costs.

Please give us your thoughts and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

 

What impact do you think the 2015 budget will have on schools and education?

 

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

Budget 2015: Teachers' pay rises limited to 1 per cent for four years
Budget 2015: Universities will be allowed to raise fees beyond £9,000
Categories: Higher Education and Policy.

Comments

  1. cyprusboro

    SchoolsImprove there is no way I would have considered going to Uni if I was at school now. The debt would have scared the life out of me.

  2. artmadnana

    SchoolsImprove or loans that will haunt them for most of their adult lives. Will affect their mortgages and subsequent loans later in life.

  3. BehaviourA

    This is one of the most cynical moves in the budget and when they claim to be concerned about social mobility and poorer, brighter students having a ‘leg up’. Just disgraceful.

  4. BehaviourA

    This is one of the most cynical moves in the budget and when they claim to be concerned about social mobility and poorer, brighter students having a ‘leg up’. Just disgraceful.

  5. BehaviourA ‘social mobility’, ‘social justice’ etc are just meaningless soundbites to show the Gov’t really, really cares about such things.  But actions are more powerful than blather.

Let us know what you think...