Confronting the forthcoming reforms of England’s student loan system: graduate perspectives

5th May 2022 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Claire Callender, IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society and Birkbeck; Ariane de Gayardon, University of Twente

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Audience: Public

In March 2022, the UK government announced major changes to England’s student finances. Tuition fees will be frozen until 2024-25. In addition, new entrants from 2023-24 will be subject to a lower income threshold when repaying their income-contingent student loan debt, a longer repayment period, and lower interest rates. The income threshold will rise in line with inflation rather than wages affecting both new entrants and current graduates. Further changes are subject to consultation including restricted access to student loans based on prior academic achievement.

Economic estimates have pegged these changes as regressive and disadvantageous for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. But how will future graduates experience these changes? To get a preliminary insight into this crucial question, we assess the student finance reforms in the light of findings from 98 interviews with current graduates detailed in our report Hidden Voices: Graduates’ Perspectives on the Student Loan System in England. We explore the experiences and perspectives of graduates from prior student loan systems to expose how the proposed modifications could have both positive and negative effects on the burden of graduate student loan debt.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).