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Loans company sale

The Government has scrapped plans for a twin-track students' loan scheme in which private institutions would compete with the Student Loans Company.

Ministers have invited bids from the private sector to take over the administrative work of the Treasury-backed loans company.

Announcing the plans, Education and Employment Secretary Gillian Shephard said favourable lending rates and conditions for students would not be affected.

The National Union of Students has opposed the move.

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