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Students: Finance

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much the Government allocated to the student hardship fund in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. (254121)

The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) is a discretionary fund that provides additional support for higher education students in financial hardship. ALF is administered by higher education institutions following guidance issued by the Department. Individual institutions make their own decisions on how best to target their allocation, taking into account their student population and their knowledge of local circumstances.

The following table shows how much funding was allocated to ALF over the past four academic years.

Academic year

Amount allocated to ALF (£ million)

2005-06

64.8

2006-07

64.1

2007-08

56.1

2008-09

49.9

The reductions in the ALF budget should be viewed in the context of improved statutory support for students.