Shruti Verma

Shruti

vpeducation@unionsouthampton.org.old

26 November 2015 12:13


Latest budget: how it affects you

Yesterday, the government announced the Autumn Spending Review, and there are some key points that will affect University students. There is some great stuff in the review, but there is also a lot that has a negative impact on current and future University students.

#CapsOff and tuition fee loans

  • The #CapsOff campaign around the new Postgraduate Taught Loan was a success, and we made the government change their plans!
  • The age cap of has been increased to 60, and the repayment rate has been cut from 9% to 6%. This is great news, because now more mature students will have the opportunity for Postgraduate level study. The loan will be introduced in the 2016/17 academic year.
  • Part time students and distance learners will be eligible for a maintenance loan for the first time.
  • Tuition fee loans will be available for those doing a second degree – but only in a STEM subject.Pie chart on a stock chart with a budget

Nursing, midwidery and allied health students

  • The grants that are currently provided to nursing students by the NHS are being taken away, and so nursing students will now pay for their courses via tuition fee loans, as with other students. For students who essentially work for the last 2 years of their degree – should they really be paying £9,000 per year for the ‘privilege’ of working?!
  • The cap on numbers for students studying nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects has been removed, so those who want to study nursing are more likely to be able to.

Repayment Threshold

  • When the government brought in the £9,000 tuition fee loans, they set the repayment threshold – the amount you have to earn each year before you start paying the loan back – at £21,000, but promised that this would rise with inflation (where the price of things you buy goes up each year, and so your wages do as well). Part of the bargain for the rise in
    fees was that the new repayment threshold was higher than the threshold under the old system, which used to be £16,000.
  • The government are now going to keep this threshold at £21,000 for at least five years – but your wages will be rising over those five years. This means that you’re paying back the loan sooner than you would otherwise have been, because £21,000 will be worth less and less each year.
  • This has been changed retrospectively and will affect all those on the £9,000 fees – i.e. everyone who has started since 2012 – this is a massive change to the conditions that you signed up for when you started uni!

I’m in communication with the Nursing representatives and also the University to see how we can address these recent changes. If you’ve got any feedback please to let me know – email me at vpeducation@susu.org or send me a Facebook message. Watch this space for more information and progress soon!

 

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