New loans system needed to stop post-graduate education becoming the preserve of the rich and overseas students, says National Union of Students
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 22 November 2012
A tough new loans system is necessary to stop post-graduate education becoming solely the preserve of rich and overseas students, the National Union of Students warned today.
It advocates the introduction of tightly controlled loans to allow students from poorer backgrounds access to post-graduate courses for “socially exclusive” professions like law, journalism and accountancy.
Only those entitled to full maintenance grants as undergraduates should be eligible to apply and “strong references would be required” to give evidence of talent, the report says.
However, it adds the rate of repayment would be “very high, given that the scheme would cover high-achieving future professionals.”
It says - while mature graduates should be welcomed - those seeking to change jobs after a number of years would be barred.
The proposal is one of three strands put forward by the NUS to try and combat the current situation whereby access “depends not on ability but on ability to pay upfront - a system that is indefensible on a social justice level”.
It is one of three proposals put forward by the NUS - which admits it does not have a final solution to the problem. The others include a general scheme for a modest number of students undertaking more general masters’ degrees - where loans should be restricted to £6,000 and repayable once the student is earning £15,000 a year rather than the £21,000 a year boundary for repaying undergraduate loans.
It acknowledges that there is a danger that the supply of loans could push up fees - as there are no restrictions on the maximum that can be charged for post-graduate study. As a result, the loans would have to be tightly regulated.
The NUS document admits that any loans scheme will have to be as cost neutral as possible because of the current economic conditions.
It follows a report last month by the Higher Education Commission warning that leading employers were being forced to hire more foreign staff or even consider quitting Britain altogether because of a growing crisis in postgraduate education.
The UK, it revealed, is one of only three countries - along with Andorra and Kazakhstand - where less than 10 per cent of students go on to postggraduate studies.
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said it had asked the spending watchdog the Higher Education Council for England to conduct a review of participation in postgraduate education.
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
£21000 - £31000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobWe are looking ...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The Job...Due to continued ...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Supply TeachersWould you l...
£50 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently looking for...