BIS sought engagement on the detail behind the Chancellor’s commitment, in his autumn 2014 statement, to introduce a new loan for postgraduate taught study to anyone under the age of 30. The proposals apply to students at higher education institutions in England.
Our submission welcomes the proposals for students at English HEIs. It agrees with the premise for the proposal, that there are financial, and other, barriers preventing greater numbers of UK-domiciled students taking up masters level education. If the UK is to succeed as a knowledge economy it needs to encourage greater levels of postgraduate study. One of the main points in our submission is to make the case of cross-UK portability of the student loans. We believe that all students across the UK should be eligible to apply for these loans as students should be making educational choices based on the course that is right for them, not limited by geography and the availability of student finance. We also have concerns that putting an age limit on the eligibility criteria could be discriminatory in regards to universities’ responsibilities in the public sector equality duty.