Student Finance

Education and Skills written question – answered on 14th June 2005.

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Photo of Phyllis Starkey Phyllis Starkey Labour, Milton Keynes South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment her Department have made of the effect of the new student funding regime on access to part-time undergraduates courses for (a) mature students and (b) those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State (Universities), Department for Education and Skills

This Government were the first to introduce statutory support for students studying on a part-time basis. In the current academic year, a grant of up to £575 for fees and a course grant of up to £250 are available for students from the poorest backgrounds. The grants are means-tested in order to target funding most effectively at those from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is no age limit on the fee grant or the course grant, ensuring that part-time students have access to funding regardless of age.

In 2005/06 we are improving the fee grant arrangements by linking the maximum fee grant available to the intensity at which the student is studying. For example, for a student studying at 75 per cent. or more of the full-time equivalent course a fee grant of up to £885 will be available.

We will continue to monitor the sector to ensure that we use available funding in the most effective way to support those part-time students who most need it.

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