From education to employment

Student leaders oppose Government’s attack on opportunity

Larissa Kennedy, NUS National President

NUS has warned the Government that their proposed changes to higher education will make it harder for students to go to university.

In their response to the consultation on Government plans, NUS strongly opposed proposals which would stop people from getting a student loan if they don’t pass both Maths and English at GCSE or 2Es at A-Level. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, these changes would have a disproportionate impact on ethnic minority students and students who had received free school meals.

NUS also outlined their opposition to the suggested changes to student loans. The plans would make graduates begin paying back when earning £25,000 per year – rather than £27,295 per year currently – and would increase the repayment period from 30 to 40 years, saddling a generation of lower and middling earners with £10,000s more debt.

Commenting on the planned changes, NUS UK President Larissa Kennedy said:

“The Government’s changes to student loans are calculated cruelness. These changes will save the highest earners £20,000, whilst new graduates on lower and middle incomes tens of thousands of pounds will pay back thousands more over the course of their careers.

“At a time where the cost of living is soaring and real earnings are crashing, for the more vulnerable, these classist changes could be the difference between heating and eating. The Minister is saddling young people with unimaginable debt for the next forty years of their lives.

“Their plans to introduce minimum entry requirements are an attack on opportunity. This Government parrots the language of “levelling up” but these proposals are classist, ableist and racist: they cruelly target those from marginalised communities, and seek to gatekeep education.”

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