Post-18 review 'to recommend FE loans'

Report from the Augar review is expected over the coming weeks and will look at post-18 education and funding

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Loans for further education students could be among the recommendations of the post-18 review, it has been reported.

The government’s review of post-18 education and funding, announced by prime minister Theresa May, is due to publish its report over the coming weeks, and it has now been reported that it could call for college students to be given access to student loans on similar terms to those going to university, including maintenance loans to cover living costs.

The panel, chaired by businessman Philip Augar, is expected to call for additional maintenance loans and greater access to low-interest funding for students, according to the Financial Times. This, it is hoped, would encourage more people to pursue vocational training.

Government funding

The report is also likely to recommend maintaining the £9,250 tuition fee, but reducing the proportion paid for through loans. The difference could be made up with direct funding from government, in order to keep university income from student tuition level while at the same time reducing the debt burden on students.

In June, Mr Augar told a conference that 400 pieces of evidence had been submitted to the review, with clear themes emerging. The evidence had stressed that institutional funding for FE providers was too low, he said. 

He insisted the panel would look at the “full diversity” of FE providers, adding that Derby College had been chosen as the venue for the launch of the review “quite deliberately as being representative of the broad universe of education institutions that the government is interested in”.

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