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United Kingdom : Call for views on expansion of loans in further education

June 21, 2014

Consulation launched on expanding and simplifying the loan system for further education learners.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has today (19 June 2014) launched a consultation on expanding and simplifying the loan system for further education learners.

Advanced Learning Loans were established in April 2013 and since then there have been nearly 70,000 loan applications. The government is now looking to build upon this and is inviting those working and studying within the further education sector to share their views on how the programme can be enhanced.

While people over 24 years old studying qualifications at levels 3 and 4 are currently able to apply for a loan, the consultation proposes opening up the system to include 19 to 23 year old repeat learners and those taking further level 2 qualifications who are not entitled to full grant funding. This will give these groups better access to the funding they need to participate in learning and training.

The consultation also looks to explore how the loans funding framework can be simplified and how a greater coherence between further education and higher education loans systems can be achieved.

The consultation invites views on: simplifying the administrative rules of the Advanced Learning Loans system, a Sharia-compliant finance product for further education learners, the transfer of Higher National Certificates and Diplomas from within the scope of higher education funding to Advanced Learning Loans, whether maintenance loans should continue to be provided for Higher Nationals and equivalent courses, if transferred to the further education funding system.

It is proposed that moving higher vocational qualifications to within the scope of further education funding will allow for a greater level of control in targeting finance towards high quality courses and providers in priority skill areas.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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