Students: Fees and Charges

Innovation, Universities and Skills written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Stephen Hesford Stephen Hesford PPS (Vera Baird QC, Solicitor General), Law Officers' Department, PPS (Mr Michael Wills, Minister of State), Ministry of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the percentage of students from Wirral West constituency who are exempt from payment of tuition fees.

Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State (Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education), Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills

Fees are payable for all students. Tuition fee loans have been available since September 2006, so no student needs to find money up front to meet tuition fees. Borrowers start to repay loans in the April after they leave higher education. Repayment is linked to income and repayable at 9 per cent. on earnings above £15,000 a year. No repayment is required if income is below £15,000. Interest paid is linked to the rate of inflation, so in real terms what is paid back is equivalent to what was borrowed.

Some employers and other agencies pay fees on behalf of students, including the Training and Development Agency for Schools and the NHS.

Continuing students who entered higher education before 2006/07 are charged fees but those with lower incomes can apply for means-tested grants to cover part or all of the fees, and for non-means-tested fee contribution loans to cover any shortfall in the grant. These fee grants and fee contribution loans are paid direct to the HE institution. Information on fee grants and fee contribution loans is not available at constituency level.

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