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Winter Wombatlan...
post Dec 4 2014, 02:21 PM
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From The Independent:

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Students will for the first time be able to take out Government loans to finance them through their postgraduate studies.

The move means loans of up to £10,000 will be available to students aged 30 or under, and is designed to counteract the slump in UK entrants opting to study for a master’s degree, following the introduction of £9,000-a-year tuition fees for undergraduate courses.

Figures show a 10 per cent decline in UK entrants since 2010/11, meaning that the majority of postgraduate students are from abroad, mostly China. The loans are designed to lure around 40,000 students a year into postgraduate studies.

The number of jobs demanding a postgraduate qualification has soared, with 11 per cent of working adults now possessing such a qualification, compared with just four per cent two decades ago. Ministers feared the slump in take-up would lead to the UK becoming less competitive in the global market.


“By introducing postgraduate loans, students will have greater flexibility to gain the qualifications they need to get on in life and give the UK the skilled workforce we need to secure long-term economic growth,” said Universities Minister Greg Clark.

The move was given “two-and-a-half” cheers from university leaders. However, Sally hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: “Encouraging people to accrue more debt is not the best way to attract the best and brightest into further study.”

Professor Steve West, chairman of the University Alliance, representing new universities, said: "The current public subsidy on existing student loans is too high; for every £1 the Government gives out in student loans, they will only get 55p back.”


Well, now I wish I'd waited two years, HUMPH (although mine was 5k cheaper anyway). I think this seems quite a good move in theory, on the other hand, it may spur on a lot of students to prolong the real world and get an extra year or two of funded study, not realising that postgrad is a heck of a lot harder and different than undergrad (I realise that already), leaving them in even more debt when they leave and potentially still not knowing what to do and in more debt afterwards.

Any other thoughts?

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Soy Adrián
post Dec 4 2014, 04:54 PM
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Postgraduate study is important or even essential for a lot of jobs, it's ridiculous that loans haven't been made available sooner.
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Dec 4 2014, 09:04 PM
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I think this is a great help to many students and will make a difference in the HE sector and make postgrads more accessible to those less well off but who are more than capable of undertaking one. Would be interested to see if SAAS and our government already do this or will adopt this given it's a devolved area.
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Qassändra
post Dec 4 2014, 11:39 PM
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It's a good idea but still not enough - good luck finding a Masters for just 10k, or meeting living costs...
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LexC
post Dec 4 2014, 11:52 PM
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A step in the right direction but still the thematic of 'getting better educated means getting further into debt' - hardly the monumental gesture that the NUS were making it out to be earlier this week.
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Popchartfreak
post Dec 5 2014, 12:43 PM
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Not in favour of students getting into yet more debt, though if a top-salary job comes out if it'll pay for itself in just a few years and thereafter year on year you're in profit. Of course I should encourage all students to apply for local government work, where you do worthwhile jobs needed by the community and there's no danger you'll earn enough to need to pay it back for quite some time...
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Qassändra
post Dec 5 2014, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE(LeXmas @ Dec 5 2014, 12:52 AM) *
A step in the right direction but still the thematic of 'getting better educated means getting further into debt' - hardly the monumental gesture that the NUS were making it out to be earlier this week.

It *is* a monumental gesture, just as tuition fees were a monumental gesture to begin with. The important point is that it makes it affordable to go in the first place. In practice nobody is going to turn you down from a mortgage or a loan as a result of you having a student loan, so all it ever means to you is a £20 repayment every month once you're above the salary threshold.

The big problem isn't tuition fees themselves, but maintenance loans and grants. Being a student is incredibly unaffordable. Free tuition wouldn't make a difference to that at all - I barely notice the £20 taken out of my pay packet every month now, and I'm below the average wage. I very much did notice not having enough money to live on as a student.
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