Students: Loans

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th November 2018.

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Photo of Peter Kyle Peter Kyle Labour, Hove

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what progress the Government has made on its plans to extend maintenance loans to students taking part-time distance learning courses from the 2019-20 academic year.

Photo of Peter Kyle Peter Kyle Labour, Hove

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the eligibility criteria for maintenance loans in relation to students taking part-time distance learning courses.

Photo of Peter Kyle Peter Kyle Labour, Hove

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of part-time students are in receipt of maintenance loans from the Student Loans Company in 2018-19.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Higher Education), Minister of State (Education)

The Student Loans Company (SLC) publish statistics annually on student support payments by academic year: https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx. Early statistics for the academic year 2018/19 show that as at 31 October 2018, 1,500 English domiciled students had been paid a part-time maintenance loan. Information on the total number of part-time students in the academic year 2018/19 is not yet available.

As stated in the government response to the recent consultation on part-time maintenance loans, we would like to extend these new loans to distance learning courses, but we must maintain confidence in the student finance system and ensure that adequate controls are in place to prevent the misuse of public funds.

In light of this, ministers would only extend these loans to distance learners if robust controls are put in place to manage the risks associated with that mode of study. The department is currently considering those controls, and a final decision regarding whether it is feasible to extend maintenance loans to distance learners will be made once this scrutiny is completed.

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