Top Up Fees and Student Loan Instalments (0506P21)

Status: Lapsed | Zone: Education

Passed: 22/05/2006 | Lapsed: 04/02/2014

This policy was discussed at the following meetings:

  • The Higher Education Act 2004 and the introduction of ‘Top Up Fees’ across the country’s Universities
  • The introduction of the accompanying ‘Study Now, Pay Later’ system, with loans and fees paid after graduation
  • Barclays (2004) estimate with the introduction of Top Up Fees the average student debt upon graduating could rise from £12,069 in 2004 to over £33,000 by 2010
  • The Student Income and Expenditure Survey (SIES)(2002/03) found total student debt consisted of student loans 84%; overdrafts 11%; and commercial credit 3%
  • The current system for payment of student loans via 3 instalments at varying dates from the start of each term
  • The current chair of the Student Consultative Group to the Student Loans Company is theUnion’s Vice PresidentWelfareand Societies
  • The work of the VP and this group to lobby the DfES and SLC to enable more flexibility in the payment of loans
  • The Student Awards Agency Scotland plans to introduce monthly payments to all Scottish students as of the academic year 2007/08
  • The majority of students have very little experience of managing their finances before coming to university and many often struggle with this once here
  • The majority of students have never had circa £1200 deposited into their bank account before their first student loan instalment
  • Under the current payment system there is a temptation, which is all too often realised, to spend large proportions of student loan instalments straight away and not budget for the long term
  • Debt and poor personal financial management can cause problems for many students throughout university and after graduating. These problems will increase with the introduction of Top Up Fees
  • From 2006/7 students may feel better off while at university, as the majority of fees will be paid after graduation, reducing withdrawals from their bank accounts.
  • This situation could lead to increased student spending while at university and increased levels of overdraft and commercial (credit card etc.) debt – causing further problems for students and graduates
  • A loan payment system with instalments of increased frequency but smaller individual denomination would assist student’s budgeting and remove some of the temptation for ‘impulse buying’
  • To lobby the Student Loans Company and DfES to introduce a more flexible (possibly monthly) approach to the number of instalments made in the loans payment system
  • To liaise with other Students’ Unions through the Aldwych Group to put nationalpressure on the SLC and DFES to introduce such a system.
  • To lobby the University to change Halls accommodation payments to match any changes in loan instalments
    Sorry, there are no Mandates for this policy