6 July 2012

million+: further education loans system will undermine learning and employment prospects

million+, the university think-tank, has expressed serious concerns about the government’s plans to replace funding for further education courses with loans for learners aged 24+ from 2013/14, as reported in the Independent today.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of the university think-tank million+ said: “The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has been placed in a difficult position because of the Treasury’s Spending Review. But there is no doubt that the withdrawal of funding for courses for older learners is a policy being introduced at the wrong time and in the wrong circumstances.

“This will impact on older people trying to improve their qualifications and their chances of employment. It will also undermine the many people who want to study at university later in life. One in three undergraduates study at university for the first time when they are over 21 and many are much older. This is why we have written to Vince Cable, Secretary of State asking him to defer the introduction of these cuts and loans and continue to fund Access to HE qualifications.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk. For more information please contact Drew Lindon on 0207 717 1655 or 07900 277819.
  2. The letter to Dr Vince Cable MP from million+ is available here.
  3. For more information about mature students at university, please see our Never Too Late To Learn report available here.