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House of Commons Hansard

Higher Education Student Finance

21 July 2016
Volume 613
  • I am today announcing student finance arrangements for higher education students undertaking a course of study in the 2017-18 academic year beginning in August 2017.

    Teaching excellence framework

    As stated in the Government’s White Paper “Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice”, published on 16 May 2016, from 2016-17 the Government are introducing a teaching excellence framework (TEF) to provide clear information to students about where the best provision can be found and to drive up the standard of teaching in all higher education providers.

    In year one of TEF (2016-17), all higher education providers who have met the eligibility criteria set out in the Government’s White Paper will receive a rating of Meets Expectations. This TEF award will carry financial incentives, as detailed below, for 2017-18 which will last for one year only. A provisional list of providers achieving this rating in year one was published on 7 July 2016 on gov.uk1

    The following sections provide details on the maximum tuition fee and fee loan caps in 2017-18 for higher education courses at providers that have been awarded a rating of Meets Expectations in TEF year one (2016-17).

    Tuition fees and fee loans for full-time higher education courses

    For all new students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at publicly funded higher education providers that have achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, maximum tuition fee caps will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18. For publicly funded providers that have achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations and have an access agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), the maximum tuition fee cap for full-time courses will be £9,250 in 2017-18. For publicly funded providers that have achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations but do not have an access agreement with OFFA, the maximum tuition fee cap for full-time courses will be £6,165 in 2017-18. For publicly funded providers that have not achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, maximum tuition fee caps for full-time courses in 2017-18 will be £9,000 and £6,000, the same as in 2016-17.

    Maximum fee loans for all new students and eligible continuing students who started their full- time courses at publicly funded providers on or after 1 September 2012 will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) to £9,250.

    Maximum tuition fee and fee loan caps for students undertaking a work placement year of a sandwich course either in the UK or abroad will remain at 20% of the maximum applicable full-time fee and fee loan caps in 2017-18. Maximum tuition fee and fee loan caps for students undertaking an Erasmus study or work placement year or a period of study at an overseas provider that is not an Erasmus year will remain at 15% of the maximum applicable full-time fee and fee loans in 2017-18.

    For continuing students who started their full-time courses before September 2012, maximum tuition fee and fee loan caps at publicly funded providers in 2017-18 will be £3,465, the same as in 2016-17.

    Tuition fees and fee loans for part-time higher education courses

    For all new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at publicly funded higher education providers that have achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, maximum tuition fee caps will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18. For publicly funded providers that have achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations and have an access agreement with OFFA, the maximum part-time tuition fee cap will be £6,935 in 2017-18. For publicly funded providers that have achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, but do not have an access agreement with OFFA, the maximum part-time tuition fee cap will be £4,625 in 2017-18. For publicly funded providers that have not achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, the maximum tuition fee caps for part-time courses in 2017-18 will be £6,750 and £4,500, the same as in 2016-17.

    Maximum fee loans for all new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses at publicly funded providers on or after 1 September 2012 will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) to £6,935.

    Tuition fee loans for higher education courses at private providers

    For all new students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at private higher education providers that have achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, the maximum fee loan will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) to £6,165 in 2017-18. For private providers that have not achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, the maximum fee loan for full-time courses will be £6,000, the same as in 2016-17.

    For all new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at private providers that have achieved a rating of Meets Expectations, the maximum fee loan will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) to £4,625 in 2017-18. For private providers that have not achieved a TEF rating of Meets Expectations, the maximum fee loan for part-time courses in 2017-18 will be £4,500, the same as in 2016-17.

    Loans for living costs for new full-time students and continuing full-time students starting their courses on or after 1 August 2016

    Maximum loans for living costs for new full-time students and eligible continuing full-time students starting their courses on or after 1 August 2016 will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18.

    For students living away from home and studying outside London, the maximum loan for living costs for 2017-18 will be £8,430. I can confirm that the equivalent loan rates for students living away from home and studying in London will be £11,002; for those living in the parental home during their studies, £7,097; and for those studying overseas as part of their UK course, £9,654.

    Loans for living costs for new full-time students and continuing full-time students starting their courses on or after 1 August 2016 who are entitled to certain benefits

    Maximum loans for living costs for new full-time students and eligible continuing full-time students starting their courses on or after 1 August 2016 and who are entitled to benefits will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18.

    For students who are entitled to benefits who are living away from home and studying outside London, the maximum loan for living costs for 2017-18 will be £9,609. I can confirm that the equivalent loan rates for students who qualify for benefits who are living away from home and studying in London will be £11,998; for those living in the parental home during their studies, £8,372; and for those studying overseas as part of their UK course, £10,746.

    Loans for living costs for new full-time students and continuing full-time students starting their courses on or after 1 August 2016 who are age 60 or over at the start of their course

    The maximum loan for living costs in 2017-18 for new full-time students and eligible continuing full-time students starting their courses on or after 1 August 2016 who are age 60 or over on the first day of the first academic year of their course, will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) to £3,566.

    Maintenance grants and special support grants for full-time students who started their courses before 1 August 2016

    The maximum maintenance grant and special support grant for eligible continuing full-time students who started their courses on or after 1 September 2012 but before 1 August 2016 will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18 to £3,482.

    The maximum maintenance grant and special support grant for eligible continuing full-time students who started their courses before 1 September 2012, will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18 to £3,197.

    Loans for living costs for full-time students who started their courses before 1 August 2016

    Maximum loans for living costs for eligible students who started their courses on or after 1 September 2012 but before 1 August 2016, will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18.

    For students who are living away from home and studying outside London, the maximum loan for living costs will be £6,043. I can confirm that the equivalent loan rates for students living away from home and studying in London will be £8,432; for those living in the parental home during their studies, £4,806; and for those studying overseas as part of their UK course, £7,180.

    Maximum loans for living costs for eligible students who started their courses before 1 September 2012 will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18

    For students who started their courses before 1 September 2012 and are living away from home while studying outside London, the maximum loan for living costs will be £5,440. I can confirm that the equivalent loan rates for students living away from home and studying in London will be £7,611; for those living in the parental home during their studies, £4,217; and for those studying overseas as part of their UK course, £6,475.

    Long courses loans

    The maximum long courses (living costs) loans for new and continuing students who are attending full-time courses that are longer than 30 weeks and three days during the academic year will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18.

    Dependants’ grants

    Maximum amounts for dependants’ grants (adult dependants’ grant, childcare grant and parents’ learning allowance) will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18 for all new and continuing full-time students.

    The maximum adult dependants’ grant payable in 2017-18 will be increased to £2,834. The maximum childcare grant payable in 2017-18, which covers 85% of actual childcare costs up to a specified limit, will be increased to £159.59 per week for one child only and £273.60 per week for two or more children. The maximum parents’ learning allowance payable in 2017-18 will be increased to £1,617.

    Part-time grants and loans

    For those students who started part-time and full-time distance learning courses before 1 September 2012 and who are continuing their courses in 2017-18, maximum fee and course grants will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18. Maximum fee grants will be increased to £879, £1,054 or £1,321, depending on the intensity of study of the course. Maximum course grants will be increased to £288.

    Disabled Students’ Allowance

    Maximum grants for full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students with disabilities will be increased by forecast inflation (2.8%) in 2017-18.

    Student support for part-time students starting a second degree course in STEM subjects

    Most students who hold a higher education qualification are currently not entitled to apply for additional fee loan for a second course if that course leads to a qualification that is equivalent or lower in level (ELQ) than their previous higher education qualification.

    The Government have previously relaxed ELQ rules in order to help people who already hold an honours degree qualification but who wish to retrain in some science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. Students studying second degree courses on a part-time basis can already apply for fee loans for part-time second degree courses in engineering, technology or computer science.

    I can confirm today that ELQ rules are being further relaxed to allow students wishing to start a second honours degree course on a part-time basis from 1 August 2017 onwards to apply for fee loans towards degree courses in the following additional STEM subjects: subjects allied to medicine; biological sciences; veterinary sciences, agriculture and related subjects; physical sciences and mathematical sciences.

    Student support for new students starting courses in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions on or after 1 August 2017.

    I can confirm today that from 1 August 2017, all new undergraduate nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students on pre-registration courses will receive support for fee loans and living costs through the standard student support system, rather than through course fees and NHS bursaries for living costs paid by Health Education England (HEE). These students will therefore be subject to the same general student finance arrangements that apply to other undergraduate students in 2017-18.

    I can also confirm today that students already holding an honours degree who want to start a second honours degree course in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions from 1 August 2017 onwards will be able to apply for fee loans and living costs support for their course.

    Further details on the undergraduate student package and support arrangements for postgraduate pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students from 1 August 2017 onwards will be set out in the Government’s consultation response which is being published in due course.

    These changes will enable universities to provide up to 10,000 additional nursing, midwifery and allied health training places by 2020, giving more applicants the opportunity to become a health professional.

    Student support for armed forces personnel serving overseas and their families

    Students who are undertaking a full-time or part-time distance learning course with a UK provider qualify for loans, and where applicable, disabled students’ allowance if they were undertaking their courses in England on the first day of the first academic year of their course and are living in the UK. Students do not qualify for support for a distance learning course if they are undertaking their course outside the UK. This rule currently places armed forces personnel serving overseas and their families who wish to undertake a higher education course by distance learning at a disadvantage as a result of their service.

    I can confirm today that from 1 August 2017, UK armed forces personnel serving overseas, and family members living with them, will for the first time qualify for fee loans for full-time and part-time undergraduate distance learning courses with UK providers. They will also qualify for postgraduate masters loans for full-time and part-time masters degree distance learning courses with UK providers. Those students with disabilities will qualify for disabled students’ allowance. This change will apply to students starting or continuing distance learning courses in 2017-18.

    I expect to lay regulations implementing changes to student finance for undergraduates and postgraduates for 2017-18 later this year which will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. More details of the 2017-18 fees and student support package will be published by my Department in due course.

    1https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teaching-excellence-framework-year-1-list-of-eligible-providers

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