Yesterday, I chaired a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students with Philip Augar to discuss the Post-18 Education and Funding Review which he led, at which we were joined by Bev Robinson, a panel member and FE College Principal, as well as NUS President Zamzam Ibrahim and student representatives from around the country – following up on the meeting we held at the beginning of their review.

There was broad agreement with the Report’s recommendations that further education needs more funding, both for colleges and finance for students, and for a more joined-up approach between the FE and HE sectors, but discussion focussed on student concerns on recommendations to end funding for university-based foundation courses, different funding for ‘high and low value’ courses, that the changes to loan repayment thresholds and periods will impose more costs on low and middle earning graduates, and the lack of recommendations over cost of living for students.

There was also concern that, despite Philip Augar’s insistence that these are a package of measures which should not be cherry-picked by the Government, the danger is that this is what will happen. I have already raised some of my concerns in Parliament, and as the Government responds to the Augar Review in the future, will continue to challenge them on these points.


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