Extend loans to FE students, urges skills agency

13 Jun 02
Student loans should be extended to further education, rather than being available only to those at university, says a new report.

14 June 2002

According to the Learning and Skills Development Agency, the absence of financial support prevents some students from enrolling at FE colleges. But it warns that any loan system must not encourage students to run up huge debts, and that a 'one-size fits all' solution will not work.

Loans for lifelong learning, published on June 6, calls for a hierarchy of loans, with free tuition for students who are working towards lower-level qualifications. Those certain of a return on their studies could take out commercial loans, and income-contingent loans should be available for learners less able to take a risk.

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds tend to accumulate the largest debts, says the report. 'Grants could be made available for those whose training is unlikely to result in significant reward, those on basic skills programmes, or those preparing for certain public sector careers,' it adds.


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