In response to the damaging 40% drop in the number of part-time university students the Chancellor George Osborne has put in place some measures that will go some way towards addressing the issues.
· Equivalent or Lower Qualification bar – for those retraining in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics the restriction on accessing tuition fee loans for a second degree will be remove from 2017-18.
· Part Time Maintenance Loans –there will be a consultation to develop a generous new system of maintenance support for part-time students by 2018-19
While these sorely needed changes are very welcome it does seem a lost opportunity not to remove ELQ for all subjects. After all, the degrees are funded by loans which students will have to repay.