Students: Loans:Written question - 226531

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 27 February 2019
Department for Education
Students: Loans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to make distance-learning maintenance loans available.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 08 March 2019

The Department for Education had forecast that 20,000 part-time maintenance loans would be issued for the 2018-19 academic year.

Further information can be found in Table 2 of the publication, Student loan forecasts, England: 2017-18:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/720371/Student_loan_forecasts_2017-18_-_tables.xlsx.

In January 2019, the Student Loans Company (SLC) published early in-year data on the payments of maintenance loans to part-time students domiciled in England. At the end of December 2019, 2,700 students had been paid a part-time maintenance loan.

Further information can be found in Table 7F of the publication:

https://www.slc.co.uk/official-statistics/financial-support-awarded/england-higher-education.aspx.

The number of part-time maintenance loans issued was lower than had been forecast at this point in the academic year cycle and the demand for a loan product aimed at part-time distance learners is therefore unlikely to be high enough to make the introduction of such a loan economically viable.

In light of this, I have decided not to extend maintenance loans to distance leaners in academic year 2019/20. The government remains committed to tackling the decline in part-time undergraduate higher education. In particular, the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding is considering how we can encourage learning that is more flexible, including part-time and distance learning. The review will report this year.

The SCL will publish guidance relating to part-time maintenance in advance of the application process opening later this year.

Grouped Questions: 226530 | 226532

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