Department for Education
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More support planned for part-time and doctoral degree students

Plans announced to help more people take up part-time learning and strengthen the numbers studying at a doctoral level at UK universities.

Two consultations were published on 4 November 2016 on new student loans which will, for the first time, offer maintenance support for part-time learners and encourage more students to take up postgraduate study with doctoral loans worth up to £25,000.

Two consultations on new student loans were published on 4 November 2016. The loans will, for the first time, offer maintenance support for part-time learners and encourage more students to take up postgraduate study with doctoral loans worth up to £25,000.

Providing further support for part-time undergraduate study will play an important role in helping students to develop the skills our economy needs. The proposed new maintenance loan will support part-time students for the first time, in addition to the fee loans on offer, and will help part-time students meet living costs.

We will also be consulting on new doctoral loans which will contribute up to £25,000 towards students’ cost of studies. This marks not only a substantial investment in the education and future of students, but will also continue to strengthen the UK’s research base as we work to cement our position as a world leader in new ideas and technologies.

Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation said:

We want anyone, regardless of their circumstances, to have the option to study at degree level and beyond.

That’s why over the past 18 months we have completely overhauled financial support for postgraduate study and why we plan new support for part-time study at undergraduate level.

We have already introduced a new loan for postgraduate masters study which is helping thousands of people from all backgrounds study for an advanced qualification. Introducing new loans for part-time and doctoral students is an important next step in upgrading our skills and research base and arming people with the skills that employers are demanding up and down the country.

Evidence gathered through both consultations, will be used to inform:

  • the scope of the loans
  • eligibility and entitlement requirements for the loans

This year the government introduced new loans for masters study which are already benefitting thousands of students from all backgrounds who want to study for an advanced qualification. The 2 consultations announced today represent the next step in government’s commitment to removing financial barriers to further study.

Notes to Editors

  1. The government’s proposed loan for doctoral study will offer up to £25,000 to eligible students over the length of their course, to contribute to the wider cost of their studies. The loan will be repaid on an income-contingent basis, and is currently aiming for launch in the academic year 2018 to 2019. The loans will provide access to finance for those students who do not receive a research council studentship.
  2. The intention is for the part-time student maintenance loan to have a maximum annual amount capped at 75% of the equivalent full-time proposal helping to support those who wish to combine work and study and is aiming to launch in academic year 2018 to 2019.
  3. Read about the part-time undergraduate maintenance loan consultation.
  4. Read about the postgraduate doctoral loans consultation.

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