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Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill completes passage through parliament

13 September 2023

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The Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill had its third reading, a chance for members to make sure the eventual law is effective, workable and without loopholes, on Tuesday 12 September.

Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the bill it received Royal Assent on 18 September. The bill is now an Act of Parliament (law). 

The Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill will support the goverment's lifelong loan entitlement policy by creating a new credit-based method for calculating maximum tuition fee limits for modules, short courses and full courses in England. This will ensure that learners who study flexibly are not charged disproportionately and allows access to post-18 education throughout a person's working life.

Third reading is a chance for members ‘tidy up' a bill, making small changes to ensure it is effective.   

No changes to the bill were suggested ahead of third reading. Members discussed the progress of the bill at the conclusion of its Lords stages.

How to follow

Explore further information

Read background on the bill in the House of Lords Library Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill briefing.

What's happened so far?

Report stage: Tuesday 5 September

Proposed changes

Members speaking at report stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to be discussed.

The amendments covered subjects including:

  • reviewing the impact of the Act on higher education
  • standardising the credit-based system across the sector.

Catch up

Committee stage: Monday 10 July

Committee stageis the first chance to examine the bill in detail and make changes.

Proposed changes

Members speaking at committee stage put forward amendments (PDF) (changes) to be discussed.

The amendments cover subjects including:

  • credits for in-person and distance learning
  • reviewing the impact of the legislation.

Catch up

Second reading: Monday 19 June

During second reading, members discussed the main issues in the bill and drew attention to specific areas where they think amendments (changes) will be needed needed.

Topics covered during the debate included:

  • access to higher education
  • the decline in the number of adult learners
  • costs for education providers offering flexible tuition.

Baroness Barran (Conservative), Minister for the School System and Student Finance, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government. 

Members speaking in the debate included: 

Lord Sewell of Sanderstead (Conservative) and the Bishop of Sheffield made their maiden speeches in the House of Lords during this debate.

Watch and read the debate

Find out more about the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read a transcript in Lords Hansard.

Image: Pexels / Startup Stock Photos