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NUS welcomes government scrapping loans for older apprentices

Tuesday 17 December 2013 NUS News

The Government has scrapped a part of their further education fees-loans policy, entirely scrapping loans for older apprentices after it failed to attract anywhere near the number of people hoped.

Over the last two years, NUS has been campaigning against the introduction of Higher Education (HE) styled loans for students in Further Education (FE) aged 24 and over studying at Level 3, including through the ‘No to FE fees campaign’.  

The policy risked putting people off studying and had grave impacts for those aged 24 and above who wanted to do an apprenticeship and had to take out a loan of up to several thousand pounds so they could essentially pay to work.

Toni Pearce, NUS President, said today: “This announcement is certainly welcome news. NUS has been committed to campaigning against the introduction of university-style loans for students in further education aged 24 and over studying for level 3 qualifications such as A Levels, BTECs and higher level apprenticeships ever since this entirely wrong-headed proposal was first put forward.

“Asking adults to pay up to £4000 a year to study for A Levels, BTECs and even to work as apprentices was always the wrong way to go, and hugely unfair to people who want to study or re-skill later in life. And it never made any economic sense, as we have consistently argued.

“Such sky-high fees are clearly a major deterrent for many adults who wish to study in further education. The government’s own research has shown that Muslim learners, people aged over 40 and people with mental or physical disabilities or learning difficulties would be particularly likely to be put off by this system.”