Alarm as student loans are doubled for private sector

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The Independent Online

Student loans to help people studying for degrees privately will be doubled, David Willetts, the Universities minister, announced yesterday.

The move has angered lecturers' leaders, who claim it would help private education providers offer cut-price courses when annual fees in the state sector soar to up to £9,000 next year. University vice-chancellors are alarmed over the lack of quality control for private sector provision.

Private students, who total 4,000 in the UK, would be eligible for loans of £6,000 a year.

Mr Willetts said: "We want to encourage a more open and dynamic higher education sector. It will help us move towards a more liberal system."

Private universities include Buckingham University, the BPP College of Professional Studies and several colleges offering music degrees.

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