Shruti03 September 2015 18:18
#CapsOff – Age limit of 30 on new Postgraduate loans
What is it about?
The last government decided to put an age cap of 30 on the new scheme for postgraduate taught loans, which are due to be introduced in 2016. #CapsOff is a campaign that has been set up by the NUS, which offers a number of key arguments and campaign ideas to put pressure on government and lobbying them to remove the age cap.
Why was the cap proposed?
The government have outlined that due to limited resources, it is best to direct this at those who really need it. Those over the age of 30 will have no access to funding, but it is proposed that it will be means tested rather than openly accessible to everyone. The age of 30 was not plucked out of mid-air, but was researched that the barriers to study for this age group are generally not financial but due to other commitments e.g. dependents or work.
What are the benefits of removing the cap?
The benefits to the students who want to complete postgraduate study:
- Improved access to education
- Financial security
- Diversity (people from a wider range of backgrounds will be able to study at postgraduate level)
What your elected Postgraduate Research Officer, Mike Allwright, has to say:
“Many PGRs enter research groups as mature students having first completed a taught postgraduate programme. These individuals can provide different skills and perspectives to younger postgraduates and the age cap on PGT loans should not be allowed to prevent otherwise well-qualified people from pursuing an academic path.”
What your elected Postgraduate Taught Officer, Ed Baird, has to say:
“It’s great that with this loan scheme postgraduate study opportunities are now an option for many students, but the age cap of 30 is unfair to mature students. Postgraduate study should be an option for anyone, regardless of age.”
How can you get involved?
There are various things you can do to get involved with the campaign:
- use your social media to spread the word and make people aware of the plans and use the hashtag #CapsOff
- find your local MP and how to contact them using www.theyworkforyou.com – you can then write to them or call their office to find out when their surgeries are. The aim is to get the local MPs to be ‘Postgraduate Champions’ which means that they agree to raise the issue at Parliament and support an ‘Early Day Motion’ for debate on Postgraduate funding.
I am currently in contact with the university so we can tackle this issue together, from a stronger position.
For more information on the #CapsOff campaign from NUS click here.