The post-16 education funding system needs fundamental reform. That's the conclusion of a report released today by the House of Lords Economics Affairs Committee. NUS welcomes the key findings of this report, and urges the panel of the ongoing Post-16 funding, led by Philip Augar, to consider these recommendations.
The report calls for a new deal for post-school education funding which promotes all types of learning regardless of where or how it takes place. The Committee’s report suggests a package of reforms including increased funding in other post-school options, reversing the decline of part-time and flexible learning, a new vision for apprenticeships, and a widening of maintenance support.
Responding to the report, Emily Chapman, NUS Vice-President (Further Education) said:
“We welcome many of the findings of the report released by the Lords Economics Affairs Committee today, which we have been pleased to provide evidence for. It confirms what many of us working in the sector have known for some time – the current student funding model is simply not fit for purpose.”
“It is particularly welcome to see a recognition of the detriment caused by the introduction of maintenance loans in 2016 – a fundamentally regressive move which has guaranteed that the poorest students will graduate with the largest debt. We concur that the reintroduction of grants should be essential to any reform, and to be accompanied by an increase in the size of the overall package - which has remained stagnant - to match the true cost of living.”
“It is also a relief to see the report acknowledge the deep disparity between Further and Higher Education in both funding and esteem. The report concludes that Further Education has been ‘weakened’ and ‘undermined’, which has led the sector, as our National President reported, to become ‘starved’ of requisite funding. We would strongly add our voice to the recommendation that Government explores restoring teaching funding for further education colleges.”
“We hope that these recommendations and many others from this report will be taken into consideration by the ongoing review of Post-18 funding led by Philip Augar. Fundamental reform will be required to build a new model which – unlike our current system – can work for students, institutions and the taxpayer.”
Please note that the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report, Treating Students Fairly: The Economics of Post-School Education, is under strict embargo until 00:01 Monday 11 June.
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The National Union of Students is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.
We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students. We promote, defend and extend the rights of students and develop and champion strong students’ unions.
The Lords Economic Affairs Committee report will be available on Committee’s website shortly after publication. For an embargoed copy of the report ahead of publication, please email: email@example.com.