Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Widening the Net of Learning Loans

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Widening the Net of Learning Loans

Article excerpt

Unions fear plans will leave 19-year-olds in 'huge debt'

Staff and student unions in further education have expressed concern at government plans to introduce tuition fee-style loans for 19- to 23-year-olds.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) wants to "expand and simplify" its Advanced Learning Loans scheme for learners aged 24 and over. It is proposing to make 19- to 23-year-olds pay the full cost of level 2 and 3 qualifications, including GCSEs, A-levels and vocational qualifications such as BTECs. Extending the loans would provide better access to the funding needed to participate in learning and training, it said.

Since the 24-plus scheme was introduced in April last year, nearly 70,000 loan requests have been made. However, Bis was forced to scrap higher apprenticeship loans after receiving only a fraction of the expected number of applications. …

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