Changes are designed to be fairer to full time students and offer a better deal for part time students.
Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, has today laid before Parliament improvements to the proposed package of reforms to higher education funding and student finance in England.
The Government has announced the following improvements to the existing package:
• All eligible part time undergraduate students studying for at least 25% of their time will qualify for full loan support for their tuition costs, compared with the 33% originally proposed: they will no longer have to pay up front fees.
• The £21,000 earnings threshold will be uprated annually in line with earnings from 2016, when the first graduates under the new system start repayments, rather than every five years as originally proposed. No graduate will repay anything until they reach that income threshold.
• The £15,000 earnings threshold that applies in the current student finance system will be uprated annually in line with inflation from 2012. The £15,000 threshold has never been uprated since its announcement in 2004. This change will help existing graduates.
Secretary of State Vince Cable said:
“These reforms will introduce a significantly fairer and more progressive new system in which no eligible student has to pay upfront fees. There is a better deal for students while they are studying and a fairer system of repayments for those who have completed their studies and are realising the benefits of a university education.
“When we announced the reforms last month, we said we would welcome further discussion about the proposals. We have been listening to concerns from universities, students, parents and parliament; and in light of those discussions, I am today announcing further enhancements to the package.”