Students: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of reimbursing the tuition fees of healthcare students to recognise their contribution during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Education)

The government is extremely grateful to all students who chose to opt in to a paid clinical placement in the NHS during this extremely difficult time. We have ensured that all students who do so are rewarded fairly for their hard work. Nursing, midwifery and allied health students who volunteered as part of the COVID-19 response have been receiving a salary and automatic NHS pension entitlement at the appropriate band. Time spent on paid placements as part of the COVID-19 response counts towards the requirement for students to complete a specified number of training hours in order to successfully complete their degrees.

Nursing students will continue to be required to pay tuition fees, and there are no plans for a specific debt write-off scheme for these students. Student loan borrowers are only required to make repayments from the April after they have finished their course and until they are earning over the relevant repayment threshold. The amount that borrowers are required to repay each week or month is linked to their income, not the interest rate or the amount borrowed. Repayments are calculated as a fixed percentage of earnings above the repayment threshold and any outstanding debt is written off at the end of the loan term with no detriment to the borrower.

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