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Volume 210: debated on Thursday 25 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received about the prospect of student hardship this summer; and if he intends to increase the availability of the access funds.

My right hon. Friend regularly receives representations on all aspects of student support. We have made substantially more money available in maintenance support for students. The full-year loan and grant together are now over 30 per cent. higher than the grant alone was two years ago. We recently announced a 4.5 per cent. increase in average student resources for the 1992–93 academic year thus maintaining their value in real terms. Access funds are a relatively small and supplementary part of a generous package of student support. We believe that the sums made available to the funds should be sufficient for their purpose, if properly targeted.