Wednesday 19-08-2015 - 17:21
The previous coalition government set out plans for a new loan scheme for postgraduate taught students in the December 2014 Autumn Statement. NUS had been campaigning for postgraduate loans since 2012 and it was seen as a major step towards providing more financial support for taught postgraduates.
However, when the detail came through on the loans earlier this year, it was clear that only students under the age of 30 would be eligible for the scheme. This would shut out older students and deny them the financial support needed to take on postgraduate study. We believe a fair system requires investing in lifelong learning and offering everyone an opportunity.
NUS is now launching a campaign to get the age cap removed from the proposed loan scheme. We challenged the government’s evidence for the age cap on a number of grounds in our response to their consultation on PG loans. Now we need to build a campaign with students and their unions to put greater pressure on government, which will release their response to the consultation submissions in September. We need to act quickly and make our voice heard in the next few weeks before their announcement so they change their minds.
I’m now presenting our plans for the #CapsOff campaign in our briefing on postgraduate loans, setting out ideas for unions to begin challenging the plans, which you can access here and urging you to get involved as soon as possible.
A few ideas to get started on include:
- Collecting case studies and testimonies from current mature undergraduates who would be more likely to apply for a postgraduate course if they had access to a loan or current mature postgraduates who would have accessed one if given the opportunity
- Get a statement of support for #CapsOff from your Vice-Chancellor
Check out our briefing for more details on the government’s plans, what NUS is doing and what you can do in the next month to ensure we see the #CapsOff our postgraduate loans.