Government plans to scrap maintenance grants will be put to the vote after Labour MPs forced the debate onto the House of Commons’ agenda, today, 19 January 2016.
Last week the Government tried to sneak the policy through a committee causing Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner to protest to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and demand a debate in the Commons.
The plan to scrap maintenance grants was introduced without any consultation with students, the higher education sector or the public.
5,697 students at Anglia Ruskin University and 2,720 at the at University of Cambridge currently receive maintenance grants according to figures from the HEFCI. Changing maintenance grants to loans will mean students from low-income families now face leaving university with close to £60,000 in debt.
The Government’s own Equality Impact Assessment reveals a concerning risk to the participation of students from poorer backgrounds, women, BME students, mature students, disabled students and Muslim students.
Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, said:“This is an attack on aspiration. Grants are a key element in improving the accessibility of university for the most disadvantaged young people. I urge the Conservatives to think again and stop their relentless attack on students.”