FE voices needed in BIS maintence loans consultation

Thursday 02-06-2016 - 15:04

The government is seeking input from learners aged over 19.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) launched a consultation on providing maintence loans for FE learners aged over 19 to study at levels 4, 5 and 6. They are currently looking at how the grow provision for higher level vocational courses, and they are thinking that this could be one way to help do that. BIS got in contact with NUS last week to ask if we could get submissions from students’ unions alongside our own submission due on 16 June. This consultation, like all others, is quite lengthy and in parts has questions specifically for institutions who would be delivering this kind of provision.

We’re disappointed that BIS approached us with such a short time frame requesting learner involvement in the consultation, so we have taken some of the key questions from the consultation and would appreciate it if your union would be able to answer the below questions (just a paragraph on each, unless you want to write more) and send them back to by 13 June.

You can see the full consultation here and read FE Week’s helpful article here


  1. Do you think introducing maintence loans for levels 4, 5 and 6 learners in FE is a good idea? If so, why? And if not why not?
  2. Should the loan be means tested or a flat rate? Should it be available to part time learners? What funding should be available for disadvantaged groups?
  3. How should the loan be administered? Should it be like the HE system or completely different?
  4. What other things can you think of that BIS should take into consideration when looking at expanding level 4, 5 and 6 vocational courses? For example, what needs to happen with careers IAG so students are informed?


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