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Student Grants

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate (a) the sum available in the Higher Education White Paper for student grants for each year of the spending review and (b) the cost of the Excellence in Cities Opportunity Bursary schemes in each year; and whether the bursary scheme will remain available to top up grants. [103426]

The Government has earmarked almost £300 million in funds for the new Higher Education Grant. The Grant will be phased in, cohort by cohort, starting in autumn 2004, and therefore, during this spending review period, the costs will gradually build up towards that level of expenditure.£37 million has been set aside to provide up to 26,000 opportunity bursaries over the three years starting in 2001–02. 2003 is the last year of the opportunity bursaries pilot; it is being replaced by the new grant. Students with opportunity bursaries will remain eligible to receive their payments in years two and three of the course, when the new grant is introduced.