English higher education reworked: what are the likely outcomes of the Government’s new student loan and tertiary participation package?

2nd March 2022 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Claire Callender, UCL Institute of Education and Birkbeck; James Robson, University of Oxford; Chris Millward, University of Birmingham; CHAIR: Simon Marginson, University of Oxford

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Audience: Public

On Thursday the UK government announced major changes to the higher education system in England. Tuition fees have been frozen at £9250 for at least another three years, to 2024-25, meaning that amid growing inflation real funding to higher education will drop significantly.

Repayment by new student loans borrowers will start at a lower level of £25,000 and the lifetime period of repayment has been extended from 30 to 40 years. These moves together will increase the proportion of student loans that go back to the government but have been criticised as regressive, as they benefit high income earners, while lower middle income earners, followed by low income earners, see their costs increase. However, the interest rate charged on new loans has been capped and will no longer exceed the rate of inflation. There’s a £75 million new national scholarship programme for ‘talented disadvantaged students’, but the Department of Education will conduct a consultation on ways of restricting access to student loans on the basis of school-level performance, which if it happens will hit disadvantaged students.

More positively, the idea of a lifelong learning entitlement stretching across higher education and further education moved a step closer: this will also be the subject of a consultation.

These are major changes and CGHE’s panel of Claire Callender, James Robson and Chris Millward will help you digest them. Don’t miss this policy hot webinar!