University Vice-Chancellor responds to Autumn Statement announcement on new postgraduate loan system

Professor Cliff Allan

Plans announced yesterday by George Osborne revealed that new government-backed loans, worth up to £10,000, will be available from 2016-17 and will benefit 40,000 students. The new student loan system for postgraduate master's degrees was announced in the chancellor's Autumn Statement, with the proposals expected to bring an extra 10,000 students into postgraduate study.

Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: "Birmingham City University welcomes this move to introduce alternative funding sources for postgraduate study and hopes the availability of loans encourages more young people to consider extending their education in this way.

"We have a strong record on widening access to undergraduate education with those who might previously have felt excluded from such opportunities, and although decisions about undertaking postgraduate study will depend on a number of factors, the issue of funding and affordability remains crucial.

"We would, however, caution the government to resist any temptation to apply higher interest rates for postgraduate loans than for undergraduate borrowing, to maintain as simple a system as possible and not discourage those for whom higher rates might be a deterrent."

Postgraduate courses at Birmingham City University

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