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Alternative provider expansion – latest annual data from Student Loans Company

November 27, 2014

Today, the Student Loans Company published its annual ‘First Release’ on the amount of student support issued in the preceding academic year to students in English higher education. The report reveals that roughly 960 000 borrowers accessed £1.59billion in Maintenance Grants (a rise of 11% on 2012/13), £3.72bn in Maintenance Loans and £5.89bn in Tuition Fee loans giving a total of £11.2bn. Of that a proportion went to students studying at ‘alternative providers’. In 2013/14, those students received:

  • £133.3million in Maintenance Grants
  • £246m in Maintenance Loans
  • £192m in Tuition Fee Loans

To give a total outlay of £571m. That’s some rise on the equivalent figures for when the Coalition took over (£30m in 2009/10; £42m in 2010/11). And that’s despite the government intervening to suspend funded recruitment at the fastest growing colleges in November 2013. There’s also a proviso:

The 2013/14 payments are not yet final and will be revised in next year’s publication. This is partly due to the alternative provider subset being subject to significant movement due to later course start dates.

Alternative providers do not just recruit in September (or February) but throughout the year in some cases. Data for those enrolled in, say, July would not yet be included in that £571m. 2012/13 figures are a case in point. This time last year the amounts were published as:

  • £66m in Maintenance Grants
  • £119m in Maintenance Loans
  • £85m in Tuition Fee Loans

To give a total outlay of £270million. The new report revises up that total to £386m. That is, last year’s figures were ultimately out by £115m. Total outlay in 2011/12 was only £120m. The new breakdown for 2012/13 is:

  • £73m for Maintenance Grants
  • £180m for Maintenance Loans
  • £133m for Tution Fee Loan

Both loan figures were out by £50-60m.

Update – 28 Nov 2014

I neglected yesterday to include figures for numbers of students at private colleges accessing SLC funds. Here is the data for tuition fee loans.

2010/11         4,700

2011/12         9,800

2012/13       29,200

2013/14       45,000

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