University criticises government proposed student loan rules

Postgraduate loans to be limited to those under the age of 30

Several top universities in the UK, including the University of York, have criticised the government for planning to place an age limit on postgraduate loans.The group of universities have called on the government to remove the plans.
Loans to be provided from the state for students living in England on master’s programmes are to be introduced next year but are only to be available to people under the age of 30.
Universities between 2014-15 ran post-scholarship schemes for students from under-represented backgrounds and of the 416 awards that were given 82 (one in five) were awarded to people aged 30 or over.
The government has said that older students should be able to find other financial alternatives, or would find it easier to find other financial alternatives and may be more financially stable than those under the age of 30.
However, those Russell Group universities which have criticised the plans, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Warwick, Newcastle and York, have reported that over-30s are more likely to have a caring responsibility, a background in the care system or a disability, that could make it more difficult financially.
Of all of the students who were unsuccessful applicants to a scholarship programme for postgraduate study 92 per cent say that a lack of financial support was a barrier to further education.
Tony Strike, chair of the consortium that is opposing the government’s planned age restriction has said: “If one of the hopes of introducing a loan scheme is to create fairer access, then the age…rule is going to negate one of the objectives of the scheme.”
The University of York offered two places on scholarship programmes for postgraduate study commencing this academic year.
The scholarship is available to students from India who wish to study Performing Arts, Engineering, Media and Communication Studies. Each scholarship will be worth approximately £3,000 each.

3 comments

  1. It’s not just these universities opposing the age limit. Modern universities have opposed this right from the start – especially since the majority of postgraduate students commence their studies when they are older and a third of undergraduates only enter university for the first time when they are over 21.

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  2. Over 30 – see you later waste material! Isn’t it age discrimination? What’s next?

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  3. Some unis have nearly half of their master students over 30, about 25% of all masters and 40% of PhD’s are over 30. Maybe they should reduce taxes for people over 30 too, that would be fair. Why all people pay the same tax, but have different access to government services.

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