Government promises to end student hardship have proved empty, according to the National Union of Students. The union claims that students will be only pound;7.77 better off next year, despite new loan arrangements designed to help them after the abolition of the student grant.
From 1999 the system of student grants will be replaced by a loans system. In addition from this autumn parents must contribute up to pound;1,000 a year for tuition fees according to their income. No loans are available to pay for tuition fees. Figures show that a student's maximum annual income in 1997 was pound;3,582,81. Under the new loans package the figure will rise to pound;3,590.58.