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Students: Loans

Question for Department for Education

UIN 139570, tabled on 14 March 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposal not to provide university students loans if prospective students have failed GCSE Maths and English, on the ability of young people from low-income households to attend university.

Answered on

24 March 2022

We are currently consulting on the principle of a minimum eligibility requirement (MER) for access to student finance for those intending to study a degree-level qualification.

We strongly believe that access to higher education should be based on a student’s attainment and ability to succeed, not their background. It is important that students, of all backgrounds, are not misdirected or encouraged towards courses that are unlikely to provide high-quality outcomes for them and good value for money.

Evidence shows that students with poorer entry qualifications are less likely to complete their degree and get a ‘good’ classification, and more likely to have worse employment and degree outcomes.

We are carefully considering the impact of the measures we have proposed and are seeking views on what would be a fair and proportionate level at which to set a minimum eligibility requirement, as well as the proposed exemptions. After our proposed exemptions are applied, 1% or fewer of total entrants would be affected by a minimum eligibility requirement set at either GCSE or A level. We will assess responses to the consultation before making the final decision.