Question to the Department for Education:
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the speech by the Minister for Higher and Further Education on 24 February regarding their response to Dr Philip Augar's Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, published in May 2019, what assessment they have made of the impact on their (1) social mobility policy, and (2) Levelling Up policy, of (a) the decision not to restore maintenance grants for university students, and (b) the extension of the tuition fee loan repayment period.
This government is committed to levelling up and true social mobility. Our higher education (HE) reforms will help ensure that students are doing courses that give them the skills and knowledge to move into high-value employment that benefits both them and our dynamic economy. The HE system must be supported to do this, which is why we are putting in almost £900 million of new investment into HE over the next three years, including the largest increase in government funding for the sector to support students and teaching in over a decade.
Our changes to student loans will make the system more sustainable and fairer for students and taxpayers, while continuing to enable anyone with the ability and the ambition to benefit from HE to do so. There will be up to £75 million to deliver a new national state scholarship to support high-achieving disadvantaged students. We have previously announced that maximum maintenance loans will be increased by 2.3% in academic year 2022/23, following a 3.1% increase in 2021/22, taking the support available for the lowest-income students to record levels in cash terms.
A full assessment of the impacts of the HE reform policies and proposals, including changes to student loans and their regional impacts, has been conducted and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reform-equality-impact-assessment.