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Prisoners: Higher Education

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL299, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government why prisoners seeking higher education in prison must be within six years of their release date.

Answered on

1 June 2021

The six-year rule relates to eligibility of prisoners for student loans and is required by the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 (“the 2011 Regulations”). The rationale for this regulation is that prisoners studying an undergraduate degree in prison would take six years to complete on a part-time basis. Prisoners who wish to complete an undergraduate degree must self-fund if they have more than six years left on their sentence. Prisoners can also apply to the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) to fund Open Universityaccess to higher education’ courses.