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Students: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 20th March 2019.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what equalities assessment his Department has undertaken on access to student finance for individuals of Muslim faith.

Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of alternative funding arrangements for student finance that is compatible with sharia law for individuals of Muslim faith.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

The department undertook equalities assessments on access to student finance for individuals of Muslim faith in November 2015 when introducing regulations to move from a system of maintenance grants to loans and in May 2016 when introducing the Bill which became the Higher Education Research Act 2017 which includes provisions to enable alternative student finance to be introduced. The assessments can be found at the following links:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/482110/bis-15-639-student-finance-equality-analysis.pdf.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524226/bis-16-281-he-research-bill-equality-analysis.pdf.

The government’s assessment of the merits of alternative funding arrangements that is compatible with Sharia law for individuals of Muslim faith was made in its response to the consultation published in September 2014. The consultation response can be found at the follow link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/349899/bis-14-984-government-response-to-a-consultation-on-a-sharia-compliant-alternative-finance-product.pdf.

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