Solent Students' Union are joining students' unions around the UK to take action against the government’s plans to scrap vital maintenance grants.
During this year’s summer budget announcement it was declared that students’ maintenance grants could be scrapped, and replaced with maintenance loans. This would mean that these grants which offer fundamental financial support to lower income families may change to loans of up to £8,200, starting from the 2016/17 academic year.
What are maintenance grants and what are the proposed changes?
- Maintenance grants are given to students from lower income households to help with their living costs.
- The maximum grant is £3,387 per year for students whose household income is less than £25k.
- NUS understands that currently, approximately 500,000 students rely on maintenance grants.
- The government proposals would stop all grants to new students from September 2016, forcing poorer students to take on further debt to fund their studies.
If this change passes, the impact could be detrimental to the hundreds of thousands of students in the UK who depend on them. As a result, Solent Students’ Union has made the decision to go against these changes, and endorses the NUS’ #CutTheCosts campaign. You can read more about the campaign here.
"I would like to support the Cut the Costs campaign as I feel that some students in today’s society are being affected with the Government’s decision to increase tuition fees and change
maintenance grants to loans. In 2014/15 42% of post-2012 students received a full grant, this will not only affect our current students but it will create a significant barrier for young people to go
into higher education. It’s so frustrating that young people will be leaving university with even
more debt! It’s not fair on our current and prospective students as education should be accessible for everyone. It’s time to stand up to the Government and protect all of our students."
Naomi Oiku, SU President 2014-2016
"I think it’s extremely important that as students we fight against the decision to change maintenance grants to loans. I’m appalled by the way the government appear to be continually charging more for education, which should and needs to be affordable, if not free, for everyone. I’m completely behind the Cut the Costs campaign because of the increasing financial pressures students already face, without making it even more difficult for those who need support the most. Together I'm confident we can influence the government to cut the costs, not the support, because as students already facing huge debts, we don’t deserve to have our financial situation compromised further."
Charlotte Winfield, VP Education 2015-2016
For more information on the ‘Cut the Costs’ Westminster Lobby, click here. If you wish to attend, please email email@example.com.