The proportion of students who disclosed a mentalhealth condition to their university has increased rapidly in recent years.
Source: Equality and diversity data, OfS
Surveys of students have found much higher rates of mental ill health than those disclosed to universities. A recent survey found that 21.5% had a current mentalhealth diagnosis and 33.9% had experienced a serious psychological issue for which they felt they needed professional help. Survey responses are confidential and are likely to give a better idea of the full extent of mental ill health.
funding and student support in England from 2012/13. The estimated RAB rate on new loans was put at ‘around 30%’, but subsequently increased to ‘around 35%’ 25 then to 35%-40% 26 , revised upwards again to ‘around 40%’ 27 and later to ‘around 45%’. 28 These increases were largely due to changes in economic forecasts, particularly on earnings. 29 These less optimistic forecast reduce the expected cash value of repayments and or delay when they will be made. Other factors behind the increase in the RAB rate include the higher than expected level of average tuition fee loans, a change to the timing of repayment threshold uprating, lower assumed repayments from the extra students who start highereducation because the numbers cap is lifted 30 and improvements to the Governments loan repayment model which is used to forecast repayments and hence calculate the resource costs of
€18,000 for a two-year course. Future Finance Loan Corporation operates the scheme for masters students in and out of the UK.
Following the EU referendum on 23 June 2016, the Government announced that EU students applying for a place at an English highereducation institution in the 2017-18 academic year will continue to be eligible for the same funding and support as they are now, and that their eligibility will continue throughout their course, even if the UK exits the EU during that period. The Government has stated that it is working to ensure that EU students applying for a place in 2018-19 will have information about their eligibility for funding “well in advance” of the application round opening in September 2017.
The president of the NUS, Shakira Martin, said in her evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee that simply abolishing fees would not help students:
I want to be clear: just scrapping tuition fees will not solve the problem. It is about maintenance support. Scotland is a prime example. It has no tuition fees, and students are still struggling. It is important to reinstate maintenance grants. I believe we should have an urgent review of the funding system across the whole of tertiary education, with students at the centre, as part of the discussion, able to bounce ideas off one another. 63
Placing new nursing, midwifery and AHP students on the student support system will, in general, provide more living cost support for students during their studies, as the student support system is substantially more than the combination of means-tested and non-means-tested bursaries. However, these new arrangements would increase the time period of student loan repayments students have upon graduation. Concerns about the impact on participation could be mitigated by evidence that increases in fees in the wider highereducation system did not have a detrimental impact on application numbers for university, including among lower income groups. In fact, statistics show that in the wider system students are now more likely to apply to university than they were in 2010. It is important to note that the policy would place nursing, midwifery and AHP students on the same student support system as the general student population. There is a built in protection for the lowest earners whereby loan repayments cease where earnings drop below £21,000.
“I welcome the Government’s introduction of maintenance loans for part-time students in today’s Budget. With part-time students more likely to be from under-represented groups, this is an important step in making highereducation more accessible, and I hope it will help reverse the troubling decline in part-time student numbers we have seen in recent years [note 1]. I also encourage universities and colleges to continue to think about how they can attract and support part-time learners, for example through
Students beginning study in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 Academic Years
As for students studying in the 16/17 Academic Year, the eligibility rules regarding student support and home fee status applying to EU nationals, or their family members, who wish to enter the UK to study a course in England which starts in either the 2017/18 or the 2018/19 Academic Year and which attracts student support, are also unchanged. SFE will assess these applications against existing eligibility criteria, and will provide loans and/or grants in the normal way. EU nationals, or their family members, who are assessed as eligible to receive grants and/or loans by SFE will then be eligible for this support and for home fee status for the duration of their course. These eligibility criteria set out that for students beginning study any time after August 2016, EU nationals must have been resident in the UK for at least five years or be EEA migrant workers in order to apply for a maintenance loan.
Students with special educational needs
The Skills Plan noted that many students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) “could achieve a high level of technical skill with the right support.” It stated that the Government would ensure that the technical routes are “accessible, inclusive and sufficiently flexible to be adapted to individual needs” and that learners with SEND should receive the support and reasonable adjustments they need to access a route. It added that the transition year would be “crucial” for the “significant proportion” of students with SEND who are unlikely to be able to access routes because of poor prior attainment. 64
This plan was outlined in Further Devolution to Greater Manchester Combined Authority, (HM Treasury, 16 March 2016).
In 2017, Innosi published a Case Study Briefing on Troubled Families in Greater Manchester. It found that implementation of the Programme varied greatly across districts. Stakeholders had mixed feelings towards the payment-by-results system, some seeing it as a political measure, others as an incentivisation tool for service integration. The authors found evidence of a cultural shift due to the Programme, but it was difficult, given the overlap with several other programmes to capture data and ascertain an attributable impact for families. Furthermore, some services, such as mentalhealth services, were not yet effective enough to address all families’ needs. 163
2. Funding for nursing, midwifery and AHP degrees
Since 1 August 2017 all new entrants to nursing, midwifery and other allied health professional (AHP) degrees have been funded by the standard student support package - students are eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of fees and a maintenance loan to help with living costs. Students may also be eligible for other grants depending on their circumstances.
1.3 Summer Budget 2015 and Spending Review/Autumn Statement 2015
In his Summer Budget 2015 the Chancellor announced that
maintenance grants would end for new students from 2016/17 and be replaced by loans. He also announced consultations on freezing the repayment threshold for five years, allowing some universities to increase fees in line with inflation from 2017 and a review of the discount rate applied to the accounting treatment of loans. 9 These are the biggest changes to student finance since the 2012 reforms.
Under the previous system, a statement of SEN stopped if a young person left school at 16. However, if the person remained at school, the local authority could maintain a statement until s/he reached 19 or until the end of the school year when s/he finished the course. If the young person left school for further education, his/her SEN was assessed under a different process, the Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA). Section 139a of the Learning and Skills Act 2000 placed local authorities under a duty to arrange a LDA for students in their last year of compulsory education who had a statement of SEN and who were expected to continue in post-16 education. Local authorities also had the power to undertake LDAs for young people who did not have a statement but who appeared to have learning difficulties and were receiving, or were likely to receive post-16 education. LDAs however did not have the statutory rights and protections associated with statements of SEN.
relationship with others. We believe that parents should retain the right to withdraw children aged 15 or under because they know their children best, but equally we know that the vast majority of parents would like their children to have access to sex and relationship education. For children whose parents do not talk to them about these issues, this could be critical in keeping them safe, especially given that a third of girls say that they have experienced unwanted touching. We are keen for the Government to support our proposed new clause 20. 27
relationship with others. We believe that parents should retain the right to withdraw children aged 15 or under because they know their children best, but equally we know that the vast majority of parents would like their children to have access to sex and relationship education. For children whose parents do not talk to them about these issues, this could be critical in keeping them safe, especially given that a third of girls say that they have experienced unwanted touching. We are keen for the Government to support our proposed new clause 20. 26
8.3 Of the remaining responses there were 516 on whether the changes to the SMSC [spiritual, moral, social and cultural]
standard are required to ensure the active promotion of fundamental British values and respect for other people. A significant number of respondents indicated that they disagreed with the proposed changes, but analysis of the related comments revealed that this was because of misunderstanding the effect or raising issues that were not part of the consultation. For example, some responses questioned the definition of the fundamental British values and requested that this be opened up for further debate; others maintained that the changes extend the equality agenda and will result in the marginalisation of Christianity; and others considered that the changes are not necessary, that the standards were only amended in January 2013, and that many schools are already doing this.
I welcome the recent publication of senior staff remuneration data and analysis. Transparency is key to ensuring justification and accountability. However, high pay must be justified by high performance, and expenses and severance payments should, in all cases, be reasonable and justifiable. Where issues with senior staff pay lead to concerns over governance, the OfS should consider carrying out independent reviews of the adequacy and effectiveness of management and governance at providers and to require improvements, where necessary, to ensure that these arrangements are fit for purpose. 11
Concerns were raised that some potential students risked missing out on the opportunities offered by postgraduate study because of
difficulties with funding. 3 The potential impact on disadvantaged groups was highlighted as a particular issue. An independent review of social mobility undertaken by Alan Milburn in 2012, for example, described the lack of funding options for postgraduate students as a “social mobility time bomb.” 4 Similarly, a 2012 report from the HigherEducation Commission noted that postgraduate qualifications were becoming a “de facto requirement for employment” and warned that
4.1 Value for money
The HigherEducation Policy Institute’s 2018 Student Academic
Experience Survey, stated that from 2012 to 2017 there was a constant decline in the number of students stating that they felt their highereducation represented good value for money. In 2018 however the number of students who said that their course was good value for money increased by 3% to 38%. – but there was still a significant proportion of students (32%) who said that their course was poor, or very poor value for money. The survey further showed that students perceptions of value for money varied across institutions and across subjects – with students at Russell Group universities and on medical degrees showing the highest levels of satisfaction.
We will establish new institutes of technology, backed by leading employers and linked to leading universities, in every major city in England. They will provide courses at degree level and above, specialising in technical disciplines, such as STEM, whilst also providing higher-level apprenticeships and bespoke courses for employers. They will enjoy the freedoms that make our universities great, including eligibility for public funding for productivity and skills research, and access to loans and grants for their students. They will be able to gain royal charter status and regius professorships in technical education. Above all, they will become anchor institutions for local, regional and national industry, providing sought-after skills to support the economy,
The Government made estimates of the percentage RAB rate on new loans from 2012 when it published proposals for changes to funding.
These are discussed in some detail in Changes to highereducation funding and student support in England from 2012/13. The estimated RAB rate on new loans was put at ‘around 30%’, but subsequently increased to ‘around 35%’ 25 then to 35%-40% 26 , revised upwards again to ‘around 40%’ 27 and later to ‘around 45%’. 28 These increases were largely due to changes in economic forecasts, particularly on earnings. 29 These less optimistic forecast reduce the expected cash value of repayments and or delay when they will be made. Other factors behind the increase in the RAB rate include the higher than expected level of average tuition fee loans, a change to the timing of repayment