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Part-time Education: Grants

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what grants are available to students studying part-time at a higher education institution; (243346)

(2) what the maximum grant available for students studying part-time at a higher education institution is;

(3) what financial aid is available for individuals studying part-time at a higher education institution to cover living expenses for the duration of the course;

(4) what advice on fees is available to individuals wishing to study part-time for a degree at a higher education institution.

Two non-repayable grants are available to part-time students: a grant for fees and a course grant which is intended to cover the cost of books and travel. In 2008/09 the maximum fee grant is £1,180 for students who study at a rate equivalent to 75 per cent. or more of a full-time course. The maximum course grant is £255. The financial support package for part-time students has been specifically designed for them and recognizes that the needs of part-time and full-time students are not the same. Unlike full-time students, the majority of part-time students are in full-time employment, with 36 per cent. receiving full support for their fees from their employer. Therefore statutory funding for part-time students is not intended to cover living expenses. Fees for part-time courses are unregulated, thus fees will vary both from institution to institution and from course to course. Part-time students are therefore advised to get information on course fees by contacting the institution at which they want to study.