Skip to main content

Students: Finance

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what financial support his Department offers to part-time students with children. (257618)

This Government were the first to introduce statutory support for part-time undergraduate students in 2000. In 2004/05 we introduced a package comprising two non-repayable, income assessed grants; a grant towards fee costs and a course grant to pay towards study costs such as travel and books. In 2006/07 we created the most generous package so far for part-time students in England, increasing the maximum fee grant by 27 per cent. and raising the income threshold for receiving support by more than the rate of inflation.

In the current academic year the maximum course grant is £255 and the maximum fee grant is £1,180. Single students with an annual household income of below £16,090 may be eligible for full fee and course grants; those with incomes up to £26,825 may be eligible for partial grants. These income thresholds are increased by £2,000 if the student has one dependent child, by £1,000 for each subsequent dependent child and by a further £2,000 if the student lives with a partner. Additional discretionary support, via the Access to Learning Fund, administered by the higher education institutions, may also be available to help part-time undergraduates with their fees, child care and other costs.