Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Criticise Funding Cut for 'ELQ' Students

Magazine article Public Finance

MPs Criticise Funding Cut for 'ELQ' Students

Article excerpt

The decision to cut state funding to students studying for second degrees was 'premature' and not based on hard evidence, MPs said this week.

In September 2007, ministers announced that as from 2008/09, they would withdraw funding paid to higher education institutions to subsidise the fees of students studying for a qualification at equivalent or lower level to the one they already hold - so-called ELQ students.

But the innovation, universities and skills select committee says this change would mean tuition fees rising by up to 200% for students starting a second degree.

Its March 27 report says the decision would have been better left to die independent review of variable fees, due out in 2009. This would have been better able to weigh the funding of ELQ students against other priorities.

It criticises the government's failure to consult on the decision and says it is 'disappointing' tìiat the Higher Education Funding Council for England appeared not to have pressed ministers to allow it to carry out a full impact assessment. …

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