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Student Finance

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate outstanding student loan liabilities (a) currently and (b) in each of the next five calendar years, on the assumption of (i) current participation and policies and (ii) expansion of numbers at one per cent. per annum and introduction of top-up fees at (A) 50 per cent. and (B) 100 per cent. of potential total income. [119790]

The total amount of debt outstanding at the end of financial year 2001–02 was £10,015 million. Of this total debt, £1,621 million was privately owned mortgage style debt. £8,394 million of the debt was publicly owned, and includes both mortgage style and income contingent loans. The debt outstanding includes loans issued but not yet due for repayment.The information on future estimates is not available without disproportionate cost. Future loan liabilities will depend on a wide range of factors, including: the number and composition of students who enter higher education; the proportion of students who take up a loan; the amount of loan they take out; subsequent graduate earnings and hence future repayments; and the rate of inflation (which affects the nominal value of outstanding debt). After 2006–07, loan liabilities will also depend on the fee levels charged by universities of their full time undergraduates, and the extent to which those students exercise the new option to defer those.