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Power to make alternative payments

Part of Higher Education and Research Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 13th October 2016.

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Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods Shadow Minister (Housing) 3:15 pm, 13th October 2016

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for giving way. Both he and my hon. Friend the Member for Ashton-under-Lyne make a powerful case on how disgracefully students have been treated by the Government. The Open University had to change the way in which it deals with part-time students by making them register for a course in order to be able to get student loans. That seems to be the height of inflexibility and not the flexibility that the Minister says he wants to usher in. Perhaps one of the things he could do this afternoon, in addition to reversing all the changes to maintenance loans and so on, is to put much more flexibility into the loans system.