CSP policy position on changes to student finance systems in England

Year published: 2022

The UK Government is intending to make significant changes to education funding – with a change in the repayment requirements for student loans; limiting numbers eligible for student loans with a cap on numbers and eligibility threshold; and replacement of student loans with Life Long Loan entitlement, open to further education as well as higher education, with a strong emphasis on modular course provision.

The CSP strongly opposes the Governments proposals to lower the salary threshold at which students start paying back loans, extending the repayment period and changing from interest linked to average earnings to the (currently faster rising) Retail Price Index (RPI) rate plus 3%.

The Government’s own equalities impact analysis on the changes shows that changes penalise those on low to medium incomes the most, because they will pay for longer, and therefore pay more interest. This will particularly disadvantage women, people with disabilities, people from black and minority ethnic communities. Among graduates from the 2023 student cohort, those with lower-middling earnings will pay an around £30,000 more over their lifetime, compared to the current system. This is £10, 000 more than high earners.

The impact of financial concerns on individual students cannot be underestimated. Students are already struggling to afford to study, and face the additional stress of knowing that any financial burden has only been deferred for a short while.

To find out why the CSP calls for health and care graduates to be exempt from the changes if brought in, please download the position statement below. You can also read our full responses to the consultations

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