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Power to make alternative payments

Part of Higher Education and Research Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 13th October 2016.

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Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 4:15 pm, 13th October 2016

I am glad the hon. Gentleman welcomes the measure. There is a happy consensus on it in all parts of the House. We are pleased that as a Government we took the initiative to consult on this back in 2014, and we now have a legislative vehicle that will give the Secretary of State for the first time the ability to offer a non-interest-bearing product. We are currently constrained from putting that kind of alternative finance package in place. We are dependent on the passage of the Bill, but our intent is to get cracking on it as soon as parliamentary business allows.

This Government are committed to a sustainable and fair funding system. We are seeing more people going to university and record numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. I hope the Opposition can see that their amendments can now be withdrawn safely and that the student funding regime is sustainable and already works in the best interests of students and this country.