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To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what eligibility criteria for assistance from the National Scholarship Programme will be in place for 2012-13; and if he will make a statement.
The National Scholarship Programme (NSP) will form part of a coherent package of help targeted on bright potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds. All universities that want to charge a higher graduate contribution than the £6,000 threshold will be obliged to participate in the NSP.
Details of the National Scholarship Programme are still being finalised. Criteria for the NSP are currently being developed through advice from an expert panel, which includes the National Union of Students, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Universities UK, Sutton Trust and others. Simon Hughes, the Government's Advocate for Access to Higher Education, has been invited to join the group.
We want a wide range of people to have the opportunity to benefit from the programme. Likely groups to be supported include disabled students, part-time students, mature-aged students, those who have been eligible for the pupil premium at school, or have received free school meals or whose family income means that they will be eligible to receive student maintenance grants.