Budget 2015: Salford Uni speak out in favour of Tories scrapping student grants

Salford University ‘welcome the measures’ that students are funded at university yesterday by Chancellor George Osborne at the unveiling of the first all-tory budget since 1996.

University maintenance grants for students from low-income families will be scrapped and converted into loans.

A University of Salford spokesperson, said: “We welcome the measures announced today to ensure that all students with the ability and aspiration to attend university can do so.

“As University Alliance has already stated, we would have preferred increased maintenance grants, but we recognise that the government’s commitment to reducing the deficit means that difficult choices have to be made.”

What this means to students

Currently, students in England and Wales with annual household incomes of £25,000 or less qualify for maintenance grants of £3,387 a year.

But from the 2016/17 academic year onwards, maintenance grants will be replaced by loans which will be higher at £8,200, and will only be paid back once the student earns over £21,000 a year.

Social media was divided about the split with scrapping grants for loans.

Jo Ellen said: “It’s a bit wank tbf [to be fair], aren’t the loans they’re replacing it with just going to make the poor owe more?? And plus how many people.

“Will pay it back fully? There’s gonna’ be a load like with tuition fee loans who don’t. So like how much is being saved tbh? [to be honest]

But others thought differently.

Twitter user The Silva Lining said: “People will still pay back at the same rate, so they will only pay back the same amount.

“Just means the government have more money short-term”

Salford University added: “we recognise that the government’s commitment to reducing the deficit means that difficult choices have to be made.

“A bigger maintenance loan that provides financial support to the most disadvantaged students is better than a grant that does not and we look forward to scrutinising the full details of the policy.”

The Chancellor said grants for students from low income backgrounds had become ‘unaffordable’ as tuition fees could rise with inflation to more than £9,000 at university’s that offer a ‘higher-quality’ of teaching from 2017-18.

He added that it was unfair to ask taxpayers to fund grants for people who are likely to earn a lot more than them after uni.

Image courtesy of the BBC, via YouTube, with thanks.

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