Thursday, 28 July 2011

Fight To Give Part-Time Students A Fairer Deal Under Loans Scheme

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Belinda Brooks-Gordon is fighting for a fairer deal for part-time university students under the government’s education loans scheme.

She has teamed up with Baroness Sal Brinton, former Cambridgeshire County Council Liberal Democrat leader to make sure part-time students are not discriminated under the scheme.

For the first time, part-time students are eligible for loans to pay for their education; but they have to start repaying those loans after three and a half years before they have completed their courses.

And the system for accepting repayments will not be in place until 2016 meaning that students who become eligible to pay in 2013 will have to wait three years and fear their loan may start accruing interest.

Cllr Brooks-Gordon and Baroness Brinton, who were both mature students at Cambridge’s Churchill College, are fighting to get changes to the Education Bill to address the issue.

“I am determined that part-time students, many of whom are single parents, mature students or disabled, should not be discriminated against in this way,” said Castle Ward Cllr Brooks-Gordon, a Reader at Birbeck College, London.

“I took my degree as a single parent with two children and would not have had an academic career without my university education. I am determined that students should get the best possible deal in these difficult times.”