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From learning accounts to bursaries . . .

The lifelong learning plans simply repeat the proposals outlined in the strategy launched in February. These include merging the funding councils for further and higher education, improved links between education and the world of work and new individual and business learning accounts.

Tuition fees, centre-stage during the 1999 coalition talks, were markedly downplayed this time. But there is a new commitment to increase the family income ceiling to qualify for student bursaries, currently on a sliding scale up to pound;28,000, and to review the maximum amount of pound;2,100 payable to those on earnings of below pound;10,000.

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