The CSP has responded to two important government consultations on student and education funding in England.
Its plans for education funding are ‘significant’ the CSP says:
- with a change in the repayment requirements for student loans
- limiting numbers eligible for student loans with a cap on numbers and eligibility threshold
- 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 impact of financial concerns on individual students cannot be underestimated, the CSP says. Students are already struggling to afford to study face the additional stress of knowing that any financial burden has only been deferred for a short while.
In its response to government, the CSP strongly opposes the 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 three per cent.
CSP policy head Rachel Newton explained what changes the physiotherapy profession wanted to see:
The CSP opposes the changes to student finance, and believe them to be unfair and potentially discriminatory in their impact.
'If they go ahead the CSP is calling for physiotherapy and all health and care subjects to be exempted and for the government to consult with professional health bodies, NHS providers and the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure workforce supply is not undermined at this crucial time.'
CSP acting assistant director of practice and development Nina Paterson said: 'The CSP is deeply concerned about the impact these changes will have on members and how this will exacerbate the experience of marginalised groups who already face many challenges accessing higher education.'
Data and examples
On the CSP’s responses to the proposals for a new life long loan entitlement and caps on numbers of students who can access finance being consulted on by the government Ms Paterson said: ‘The CSP have used data and examples to illustrate what's best for ensuring quality and equity of access, all for the benefit of patients, members, and the profession.'
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