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    The government Department for Business, Innovation and Skill have now confirmed that fee grants will be withdrawn:

    http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore...tudent-finance

    From 2012 or 2013 (it has not been clarified which), part time students will be required to take out non-means tested fee loans to cover the cost of their study.

    The previous ELQ provisions will remain in place (i.e. you can only receive support for your first degree).
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    (Original post by HLS)
    The government Department for Business, Innovation and Skill have now confirmed that fee grants will be withdrawn:

    http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore...tudent-finance

    From 2012 or 2013 (it has not been clarified which), part time students will be required to take out non-means tested fee loans to cover the cost of their study.

    The previous ELQ provisions will remain in place (i.e. you can only receive support for your first degree).
    I'm interested to hear what people think about this development. I know it's something Birkbeck and the OU have jointly campaigned for, to give part-time students the same status as full-time. From a personal point of view I would have benefited from having the option of a student loan because I don't qualify for a fee grant, but I can see that this won't be welcomed by everyone
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    Personally, I'd have kept the Fee Grant system and introduced a loans system for those who earn too much.

    Often the Fee Grant is provided to the very lowest earners, and in any event usually those earning below the £21k loan repayment threshold.

    I anticipate that the prospect of taking on a loan will deter low earners, who are naturally risk averse.

    I have received a fee grant, but I am not sure if I'd have approached the OU if I had been expected to take out a loan instead.
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    (Original post by HLS)
    I have received a fee grant, but I am not sure if I'd have approached the OU if I had been expected to take out a loan instead.
    I would still have gone with the OU simply because the fees are much lower than those at conventional universities and distance learning offers the flexibility I need. But I'm concerned that the OU will use this as an excuse to bring their course fees into line with those at conventional universities, which would be an absolutely massive hike, wouldn't it.
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    (Original post by lupinpooter)
    I would still have gone with the OU simply because the fees are much lower than those at conventional universities and distance learning offers the flexibility I need. But I'm concerned that the OU will use this as an excuse to bring their course fees into line with those at conventional universities, which would be an absolutely massive hike, wouldn't it.
    Well this is one of the very problems - central subsidy for the vast majority of OU courses is going to be cut by 100%.

    The vast majority of OU income is derived from government grants.

    Fees are unfortunately likely to rise fairly substantially.
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    (Original post by HLS)
    Well this is one of the very problems - central subsidy for the vast majority of OU courses is going to be cut by 100%.

    The vast majority of OU income is derived from government grants.

    Fees are unfortunately likely to rise fairly substantially.
    Yes, I think you're right. So a £650 module could go up to £3000 or more and that really will put those on lower incomes off altogether as you said above :eek:
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    (Original post by lupinpooter)
    Yes, I think you're right. So a £650 module could go up to £3000 or more and that really will put those on lower incomes off altogether as you said above :eek:
    I don't think they will reach £3k+ with the OU, but they will certainly rise substantially.
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    I don't understand this, can someone please clarify it for me? (I am not financially minded )

    At the moment I don't earn anything and so can get full financial support for most of my modules. Does this now mean Iwill have to take out a loan to pay for each module and then re-pay the entire thing back?
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    (Original post by Lazuliblue)
    I don't understand this, can someone please clarify it for me? (I am not financially minded )

    At the moment I don't earn anything and so can get full financial support for most of my modules. Does this now mean Iwill have to take out a loan to pay for each module and then re-pay the entire thing back?
    It won't affect anyone yet, but when the change does take effect it means that you'd have a student loan to cover your fees, just like full-time students at conventional universities do. You'd then have to pay it back later once you're earning £21K or more.
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    If I understand this correctly, these rules are for English students. What about Scottish students if the fees rise substantially?

    The problem that I have with the proposed system, not just for part time students, is that they are going to start charging proper interest rates on the loans not just the inflationary rise that they charge at the moment to full time students. They are also going to penalise anyone for repaying their loan early. This seems very unfair to me.

    Personally I would have benefitted as I have to pay for all of my courses at the moment. I do not work at the moment but intend to work part time once my degree is finished. I am sure that I will not be earning over £21,000 part time so I would never have to repay the loan!
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    If they come into place for the 2013 academic year I should have just finished by then so hopefully it won't affect me, but I'm curious about something...I'm currently paying off about £6.5k student loan from my one year at brick uni. As this is on the current system, I start paying back when I earn over £15,000. If I had to take out a loan for OU in my final year, that would be paid back when I earn over £21,000...has anyone seen any info on what would happen in this situation? Would I just continue paying off my first loan from £15k-£21k then start paying back more towards both of them once I earn over that? Just seems like it'd get confusing. I guess it's not a hugely common scenario though so I've not seen anything about it.

    I do think it's good in general to make the system fairer for those who don't get Government grants/funding, but for me I'm quite happy with my nice fee & course grant covering everything for me, haha ;D
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    I started a little savings account a few months back. I don't do debt unless it's a mortgage. It might be a good idea to begin putting money aside now if you haven't done so already, until we know just how far the course fees will rise. Even just a small amount weekly will add up by the 2012 starts.

    Either that or OUSBA it. I can't see them shutting that down for people who want to pay up front. Better 5% APR for 9 months that RPI+3% for who knows how long.

    I wonder if they'll try and fast track this for part timers and take 2012 to be the Jan/Feb 2012 starts instead of the October 2012 starts. A bit pessimistic maybe, but I wouldn't be hugely surprised if we get to test the rollout of the new system.

    Also, am I correct in understanding that they allow full time students who start with the old system in 2011 to remain in the old system until they graduate? I wonder if they're going to afford us the same luxury, or just put the prices up when we're already half way through the degree.

    It might also be worth jumping on those expensive courses now if you need residentials or high cost modules, just in case all prices rise by a fixed percentage.

    Those are my new plans anyway. We'll see how this pans out soon.
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    (Original post by AnnB)
    If I understand this correctly, these rules are for English students. What about Scottish students if the fees rise substantially?
    That is the million dollar question. Theoretically it should continue as now as the devolved Scottish government has yet to revise its policy toward tuition fees.

    (Original post by Kate.)
    If they come into place for the 2013 academic year I should have just finished by then so hopefully it won't affect me, but I'm curious about something...I'm currently paying off about £6.5k student loan from my one year at brick uni. As this is on the current system, I start paying back when I earn over £15,000. If I had to take out a loan for OU in my final year, that would be paid back when I earn over £21,000...has anyone seen any info on what would happen in this situation? Would I just continue paying off my first loan from £15k-£21k then start paying back more towards both of them once I earn over that? Just seems like it'd get confusing. I guess it's not a hugely common scenario though so I've not seen anything about it.
    This is all likely to be covered in the White Paper to be released in January.

    The vote which will take place next Thursday is purely to raise the fee cap.
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    (Original post by Moggs)
    I wonder if they'll try and fast track this for part timers and take 2012 to be the Jan/Feb 2012 starts instead of the October 2012 starts. A bit pessimistic maybe, but I wouldn't be hugely surprised if we get to test the rollout of the new system.
    No this is not logistically feasible. The draft regulations presented to Parliament for any changes are not scheduled to come into effect until 1st September 2012.

    (Original post by Moggs)
    Also, am I correct in understanding that they allow full time students who start with the old system in 2011 to remain in the old system until they graduate? I wonder if they're going to afford us the same luxury, or just put the prices up when we're already half way through the degree.

    It might also be worth jumping on those expensive courses now if you need residentials or high cost modules, just in case all prices rise by a fixed percentage.
    Yes you are right - FT students on the 2011 system will remain on it throughout the length of their degree course.

    PT students - who knows? In the past when changes have been introduced, you were entitled to finish your degree under the legal framework within which you began it.

    I was considering Law modules with the OU - which the fee grant would have covered - but obviously until this question is answered I don't want to risk a four year commitment for a QLD only to find that the fee grant is rescinded and I am expected henceforth to take out a loan.
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    (Original post by HLS)
    No this is not logistically feasible. The draft regulations presented for Parliament to any changes are not scheduled to come into effect until 1st September 2012.
    Good call.

    (Original post by HLS)
    I was considering Law modules with the OU - which the fee grant would have covered - but obviously until this question is answered I don't want to risk a four year commitment for a QLD only to find that the fee grant is rescinded and I am expected henceforth to take out a loan.
    Understandable. Rock and a hard place there.

    Thanks for all the info.
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    I just hope i'll be able to finish my degree within the current system and not the new one that's being proposed
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    (Original post by LW5x01)
    I just hope i'll be able to finish my degree within the current system and not the new one that's being proposed
    Provided you are due to finish your degree in 2012, this should be perfectly possible.
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    (Original post by HLS)
    Provided you are due to finish your degree in 2012, this should be perfectly possible.
    I should be finishing in 2013 most likely, if not a bit later. :headhurts:
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    (Original post by LW5x01)
    I should be finishing in 2013 most likely, if not a bit later. :headhurts:
    You may be OK - it depends what method the government utilise to phase out the Fee Grants.
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    Stupid question, but presumably the computer grant will go too? I'm on year three fully funded but never claimed it, but each year I had a letter saying I can claim one.

    So, next year or the year after would be the last time I could go for it?
 
 
 
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