CSP response to life long loan 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

  • Partnership working between education providers for all health and care courses and local health care employers should be strengthened to ensure learners are adequately prepared for a career in healthcare.
  • Aligned with this, provision funded by LLE must be driven by national standards and expectations set by independent bodies such as regulators or professional bodies.
  • The government must ensure that the LLE doesn’t have the unintended consequence of reducing employer support for Apprenticeships.
  • All four year physiotherapy and health care programmes, including physiotherapy, must be included for LLE funding. This must include the level 7 pre-registration programmes that are currently funded through HESF.
  • With the introduction of the LLE, it is essential that pre-registration healthcare programmes continue to be funded for their entirety, not modular components, to avoid compromising the already high quality of the provision, with implications for patient care.
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