Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Term Date Shift Cuts UEL Student Access to Loans

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Term Date Shift Cuts UEL Student Access to Loans

Article excerpt

A university has defended changes to term dates that have ended undergraduates' access to extra student support.

Learners at the University of East London previously qualified for "long courses loans" from Student Finance England because their academic calendar stretched beyond the standard 30 weeks and three days.

For 2014-15, however, a change of term dates means that students are no longer entitled to the loan of up to £107 per additional week, depending on household income.

The UEL students' union has passed a motion protesting that this may "lead to a decline in student retention owing to further students being unable to afford the associated costs of studying".

The motion, which calls for wider consultation, contrasts the decision with the university's readiness to spend nearly £2 million on Samsung tablets for 4,000 first-year students.

The university says a longer summer break will enable students to earn more by working or undertaking placements during the vacation.

But Will Nickell, the union's ethics and environment officer, said the loss of £331 from his annual student loan had forced him to move to the other side of London to find affordable accommodation. …

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