CSP response to education funding consultation

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 CSP believes the changes to student finance and measures place an unfair burden on individuals, put discriminatory barriers in the way of higher education for already marginalised groups and risks undermining much needed workforce supply for all sectors in the health and care system.

Key recommendations

  • Exempt physiotherapy and other health care courses from student number controls and minimum eligibility requirements – to maintain supply and diversify the workforce

  • If minimum eligibility requirements are introduced mature students, part time students and students who have completed an access course must be exempt

  •   Widening participation and access to degree courses like physiotherapy should be encouraged, to address workforce supply and enable the NHS as the larger employer in most areas to play a role in levelling up.

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