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FE loan applications up overall – but down for older learners

The number of applications for advanced learner loans among all ages groups increased – but fell for learners aged 24 and above

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The number of applications for advanced learner loans among all ages groups increased – but fell for learners aged 24 and above

The number of applications for adult learner loans has increased overall – but among older learners, the number has fallen, new figures from the Department for Education reveal.

According to the data published today, the overall number of applications for advanced learner loans increased by 16 per cent from 2015-16 to 2016-17 – from 80,650 to 93,660 applications.

This increase, however, was due to loans being offered to 19- to 23-year-olds for the first time last year. Some 21,240 learners aged 19 to 23 applied for an advanced loan in 2016-17.

The number of applications from older learners – those aged 24 and over – fell from 80,630 in 2015-16 to 72,400 in 2016-17 – a drop of 10 per cent.

'Additional support for vital training'

Meanwhile, the number of total applications that were approved by the DfE increased from 71,190 in 2015-16 to 82,290 in 2016-17 – an increase of 16 per cent.

In 2015, then-chancellor George Osborne announced that advanced learner loans would be made available to those aged under 24 for the first time.

Martin Doel, the chief executive of the Association of Colleges at the time, said giving 19-year-olds access to the loans would “provide additional support for this vital training”.

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