Tag Archives: Student loan

Is our HE system too complicated?

Now that we have reached the 50th anniversary of the Robbins report, which paved the way for the mass expansion of the UK higher education system, it is worth examining whether our system of university finance has evolved accordingly.

In terms of finance, we’ve come a long way from the days of Robbins. Back in 1963, the system consisted largely of maintenance grants for poor students. There were none of the tuition fee loans, maintenance loans or bursaries that are such important aspects of today’s system. While we can argue about whether asking students to contribute to their education is a good or bad thing, there’s no doubt about the increasing complexity that the introduction of these aspects of finance has brought. Continue reading →

The form barrier

Here’s the student finance (maintenance loan and grant, and tuition fee loan) application form for 2013:


It’s 34 pages long, with a 10 page section for parents to fill in all their income details…. e.g.


This would be OK for parents used to filling in tax returns etc – but what about those from lower socio-economic groups who are less likely to have to deal with such matters? Does it mean those from poorer backgrounds are put off applying?

Continue reading →