Press release

million+ responds to higher education announcements in the summer budget

08 Jul 2015

The Chancellor has announced a range of budget measures affecting higher education in England, including:

·         replacing maintenance grants with loans for new students starting in the 2016/17 academic year – loans that only have to be paid back once students earn over £21,000 a year
·         increasing the maintenance loan available to £8,200 for students from low-income households
·         consulting on freezing the loan repayment threshold for five years and reviewing the discount rate applied to student loans and other transactions
·         linking the student fee cap to inflation for those institutions that can show they offer high-quality teaching
·         inviting universities, cities, LEPs and businesses to map strengths and identify potential areas of strategic focus for different regions through a series of science and innovation audits

Responding to the announcements Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of million+, the university think-tank, said:

On replacing maintenance grants with loans:

“Maintenance grants have been extremely important to students and their families. The Government must commit to reviewing the impact of these changes on students from different backgrounds and ensure that the introduction of maintenance loans has no detrimental effect on university access. This would be a timely opportunity for Ministers to review the financial support available for part-time students, who currently do not get any support for their living costs.”

On investment in research:

“If the Chancellor is serious about supporting the UK’s research base the Government must ensure all universities have the resource to support their local economies. A new fund for translational research would support universities right across the country to collaborate with business of all shapes and sizes.”


Notes to Editors
1. For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Nick Entwistle on 0207 717 1659 or  
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at
3. Details of the policy announcements can be found in the Budget “red book” published here:  (p59)