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£10k postgrad loans for under 30s

(6 Posts)
Spindelina Thu 04-Dec-14 11:03:39

Here's the link on MSE: link

It seems that they will be providing student loans to postgrads, but only if the student is under 30.

Is this ridiculous age discrimination, or a sensible way to target help where it is most needed?

(As an ex mature student, I would say the former. But AIB entitled?)

Cleebourg Thu 04-Dec-14 12:08:19

It was just a question of how long the government would take to realise there was a big hole in tertiary education funding

No you aren't being entitled. I had mixed feelings when I saw the announcement, as younger DC is currently paying 9K for Master's this year through working/scrimping/saving beforehand plus some parental help and probably in the end a loan as DC is stubbornly refusing more help. Older DC did similar with partner's help, at one point holding down two jobs. It is really tough. On the positive side they know the value of money. On the positive side also, they were fortunate in having the means to raise the money (=jobs available, and jobs that added to their skills/experience). But a lot of very talented young people were simply priced out. Older people on their courses tend(ed) to have saved up and weren't taking on debt to do the course. A big point, as I see it, is that my DC did not pay 9K undergraduate fees. Anyone who has to do that deserves all the help they can get. Anyone over 30 will have paid no or much lower undergraduate fees?

UptheChimney Thu 04-Dec-14 12:24:22

This government is managing to wreck a world-class education system.

Spindelina Thu 04-Dec-14 13:12:53

Anyone over 30 will have paid no or much lower undergraduate fees?

What if that 31 year old has just finished their undergrad degree?

Cleebourg Thu 04-Dec-14 13:33:34

Spindelina: good point. I was taking a too-narrow view of it, thinking of the majority. If you're in that category (recent graduate over 30) I grovel - but I did in any case say you weren't being entitled; everyone has a different point of view. The student still has to pay for it (the degree), and for both of my DCs, taking out a loan is/was the last resort to fill a final hole and not to cover all of it. So I'm not sure that borrowing under the new scheme would have attracted them any more. Of course being so young they have time on their side (though they don't think so) to work and save first. But the new loan will be a career-saver to those without my DCs' opportunities.

Flexibility doesn't seem to be in funders' thinking. Maybe they just want to be able to tick boxes. My younger DC enquired of the university about eligibility for a bursary, having lived an independent life, and was told that Masters' bursaries were available only for those who had been eligible for bursaries at 18, in other words based on her parents' income ~6 years ago. She wrote it off as one of life's little inequalities.

Spindelina Thu 04-Dec-14 13:46:49

Nah, no grovelling required - I did my undergraduate (and Msc) degrees decades ago. It's just my PhD that I did at 30+.

But I did get very involved in the mature students group, through which I met many lovely people for whom the step from school to university had not been easy at all, for various reasons of illness, family issues etc. It seems very harsh to deny them this route for finance (much cheaper than a career development loan, I believe) just because they are the wrong side of 30.

Flexibility doesn't seem to be in funders' thinking.

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