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The last chance to save student grants

Bursary or bustLabour is holding a debate and a vote on the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, to challenge the government decision to scrap student maintenance grants. The government are planning to scrap maintenance grants for students from poorer backgrounds, replacing them with additional loans.

This change would mean that the poorest 40% of students going to university in England will graduate with debts of up to £53,000 from a three-year course, with the changes disproportionately impacting older learners, women and those from older industrial areas.

These sweeping changes were not in the Conservative election manifesto, and the government attempted to force through the changes via an obscure Commons committee rather than holding a full debate in the House of Commons chamber. Speaking prior to the debate, Easington MP Grahame Morris said:

Labour have tabled a motion to annul the statutory instrument enacting these changes, in the hope that we can halt the Tories’ pernicious and punitive plans.

Maintenance grants provide vital support for students from the lowest income families including those from the North East working hard to improve their lot. It is simply wrong for the government to penalise poorer students who should not have to leave university with greater debts than their more privileged peers.

The government should be expanding educational opportunities instead of forcing through changes that will make the poorest students think twice about going into higher education due to the considerable debts they will rack-up in the process.”

Labour will resist these changes.

Image credit: National Campaign against Fees and Cuts

One Comment

  1. Susan O'Neill says:

    University education should not be for the rich and privileged only. Too many dimwits with money are taking University places that should be going to very much more intelligent but “poor” students. Trust the Tories to look after their own and screw over the less likely to vote Tory.

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