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July 2015 Budget – first thoughts

July 8, 2015

There were 3 big announcements for English HE in today’s budget.

  • the maximum tuition fee for undergraduate study would rise in line with inflation for institutions that can demonstrate high quality teaching. This is likely to reference the newly announced ‘Teaching Excellence Framework’ which will recognise ‘excellence and innovation’ in teaching.
  • Government will consult on freezing the repayment threshold for all those who have taken out student loans since starting undergraduate study 2012. The £21 000 threshold was meant to rise in line with earnings after 2016. This represents a retrospective price hike but is needed to keep control of the loan repayments as a result of the third announcement.
  • Maintenance grants will be abolished and replaced by a maximum maintenance loan of £8 200 for those starting undergraduate study in 2016/17. This appears to involve the abolition of means teaching as ‘to ensure university is affordable to all students from all backgrounds, we’ll increase the maintenance loan available to £8,200 – the highest amount of support ever provided’.Current levels are:
  • Full-time student Loan for courses from September 2014 Loan for courses from September 2015
    Living at home Up to £4,418 Up to £4,565
    Living away from home, outside London Up to £5,555 Up to £5,740
    Living away from home, in London Up to £7,751 Up to £8,009

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