Student Finance

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th February 1985.

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Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North 12:00 am, 19th February 1985

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he anticipates publication of the Government's discussion document on student finance.

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Education and Science)

That has yet to be finally decided, but I hope that the consultative paper will be published during the first half of the year.

Photo of Mr Tony Marlow Mr Tony Marlow , Northampton North

Is not the present system desperately unfair as between students, in that some get a full grant and some do not get a full grant and do not get it made up? Will the Government consider taking the amount of money that is available and spreading it equally among students and allowing them to make up the difference from some sponsor, from work or by borrowing from the bank, the banks having been spoken to and persuaded by the Government that they should bring forward a loans scheme?

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Education and Science)

It would be wrong for me to anticipate the terms of the consultative document, but I do not think that my hon. Friend will be disappointed by the breadth of the options that we offer.

Photo of Mr Peter Hardy Mr Peter Hardy , Wentworth

Will the Minister accept that in many parts of the country even highly qualified graduates are facing long periods of unemployment? How would they be able to repay loans with which he may favour them and to which his hon. Friend has referred?

Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Education and Science)

I was not in any way prejudging or prejudicing how the consultative paper will be written, but I am encouraged that prospects for graduates have improved significantly during the current year.