Poor students face maintenance grant freeze

Student maintenance grants will be frozen at previous years’ levels under plans revealed in the chancellor’s 2013 spending review

Students from the lowest household incomes will have their maintenance grants frozen for 2015/16 under plans outlined by George Osborne in the spending review.

NUS vice-president Pete Mercer came out against the freeze, saying that 'cutting support further could make staying in university unaffordable for many'.

Although universities have seen their high-level funding protected, as with the £4.6 billion research budget, funding designed to aid disadvantaged students has been substantially reduced.

In addition to the maintenance grant freeze, the national scholarship programme, strongly supported by the Liberal Democrats, is to be cut back from £150 million to £50 million, and restricted to disadvantaged postgraduates.

The plans, which will save £60 million, are part of an initiative to reform higher education and further education, intended to placing it on a more sustainable financial footing. The government will reduce spending by £400 million in 2015-16.

A maintenance grant is given to those university students whose household income is below £50,020. There are various tiers to the grant, dependent upon individual household incomes. Students from households earning £25,000 or less receive the maximum £2,096 grant. 

Mercer says that more than half of students regularly worry about covering basic living costs, and 'many still need additional financial support so that they make the most of their education'.

The maintenance grant was also frozen in 2010/11 and 2011/12, keeping it to 2009/10 levels. The grant did increase by 12 per cent in the 2012/13; however, this was the year in which fees tripled, with students faced with up to £9,000 in tuition fees.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) defended the changes, pointing to Ucas statistics showing admissions among school leavers from disadvantaged neighbourhoods was at its highest rate ever.

A spokesperson from Universities UK stated that although they would be closely monitoring the situation, they were unsure how the decision would affect individual students. She went on to say that students do not only receive support from the government. 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Year 1 Teacher

£12 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education require a year ...

Primary Teacher - Hull

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Are you a flexible and inspiratio...

SEN Teaching Assistant Runcorn

£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...

Primary Teacher EYFS, KS1 and KS2

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried