More Students To Receive Grants
More students from poorer families in England are set to receive full grants for university living costs. Students whose families earn less than £25,000 a year will get a full grant – up from the present level of £18,000. Students in families earning up to £60,000 a year will now get some form of maintenance grant.
Students in England have been liable for tuition fees of £3,000 a year since September 2006. The fees are not paid up front by the students, but are covered by a student loan which is paid back once a graduate’s earnings reach £15,000 a year. Students starting university in 2008 will be entitled to a holiday from their repayments of up to five years – once they graduated.
The changes will mean that the number of students eligible for a full grant would rise from the present level of 29% to one third. Also two thirds of all students would be entitled to some kind of maintenance grant, up from the present level of half.
John Denham, the Secretary of State for Innovations, Universities and Skills, said: “We are wasting the talents of too many young people for whom university study should be a realistic ambition, not out of reach. Hard-working families on modest incomes have concerns about affordability of university study. We need to be willing to change.”
Professor Drummond Bone, president of Universities UK, said: “This is excellent news – for students, for graduates, and for the whole higher education sector. This extra money will tackle head-on any perception that financial barriers make it impossible to go into higher education. Raising the threshold will mean many more students will be eligible for non-repayable grants – and will go some way to ensuring that all students with the ability to succeed in higher education are given the opportunity, and the means, to do so.”
The government has made a commitment to get half of young people into higher education by 2010.
5th Jul 2007