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Member Article

150,000 will lose right to an adult education

Unions warn that the move will affect people’s futures as well as create job losses.

Due to the governments plans to change how they charge for further education courses, over 150,000 adults could find themselves priced out of a second chance at education.

The current rules state that students over the age of 24 only have to pay for half the cost of their education, whilst under 19’s get it for free. However, from next August, the government are planning for the over 24’s to pay the full £3,700 cost for A-levels or access courses, albeit with a loan.

Going ahead with this means that the government risks a backlash from MP’s and civil servants, who warned that a loan system would put off 45% of applicants.

This would mean that there would be 170,000 less students taking the courses, prompting closures and redundancies amongst educational institutions.

Labour’s spokesman on further education and skills, Gordon Marsden, states that. “Adult further education is rightly viewed as a key lever of social mobility, by giving people who missed out first time around a second chance to gain qualifications,”

Pam Tatlow, chief executive of the university think-tank million+, accused the government of delivering a “double whammy” to mature students. “If they have to pay off their further education loads over a 30-year period, how many of them are going to go on and take out another 30-year loan to cover the cost of a higher education course?” she asked.

Union leaders have suggested that the plan was going to lead to significant job losses as well as destroying the hopes of thousands of adults.

The new loans system is expected to be put before the House of Commons before the summer recess. The loans will be managed by the Student Loans Company, who already deal with undergraduate payments.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by John Jackson .

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