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    • Scopolamine
    • By Scopolamine 29th Jan 19, 12:10 AM
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    Scopolamine
    Disparity in Living Loans across the UK
    • #1
    • 29th Jan 19, 12:10 AM
    Disparity in Living Loans across the UK 29th Jan 19 at 12:10 AM
    I watched Martins show about student finance this evening and it prompted me to do a little bit of investigation regarding the availability of maintenance loans in different parts of the UK.

    In England students living away from home can receive a loan of up to 8750.
    In Wales you get a combined loan and grant up to a maximum of 9000
    In Scotland the loan seems to be 5750
    In Northern Ireland the loan appears to be 4840

    It would seem that if you come from England or Wales and want to live away from home whilst at University then you're likely to be better off than if you come from Scotland or Northern Ireland.

    Welsh students seem to have it the best as the are entitled to a loan and a grant to the tune of 9K, irrespective of income - the only difference seems to be the amount you have to pay back - the more your parents earn, the bigger the loan and the smaller the grant.

    English student are the next best off although their loan is affected by means testing so the more your parents earn the less you get.

    Scottish and Northern Irish students are the worst off - the maximum (means tested) loan is substantially less than their English and Welsh counterparts and if their parents even earn a modest income then they are penalized further.


    How can there be such a difference in terms of student living support across the four parts of the UK? Are the Scottish and Northern Irish education establishments trying to dissuade students from look for education outside their own country? I would be most surprised if the maximum loan available to these students would even cover lodgings should they decide to study in another part of the UK!
Page 1
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 29th Jan 19, 5:58 AM
    • 3,499 Posts
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    unforeseen
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 19, 5:58 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 19, 5:58 AM
    It's not the educational establishments that decide the level of loan/grant but each country/province parliament.
    • Ed-1
    • By Ed-1 29th Jan 19, 11:18 AM
    • 2,508 Posts
    • 1,313 Thanks
    Ed-1
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 19, 11:18 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 19, 11:18 AM
    I watched Martins show about student finance this evening and it prompted me to do a little bit of investigation regarding the availability of maintenance loans in different parts of the UK.

    In England students living away from home can receive a loan of up to 8750.
    In Wales you get a combined loan and grant up to a maximum of 9000
    In Scotland the loan seems to be 5750
    In Northern Ireland the loan appears to be 4840

    It would seem that if you come from England or Wales and want to live away from home whilst at University then you're likely to be better off than if you come from Scotland or Northern Ireland.

    Welsh students seem to have it the best as the are entitled to a loan and a grant to the tune of 9K, irrespective of income - the only difference seems to be the amount you have to pay back - the more your parents earn, the bigger the loan and the smaller the grant.

    English student are the next best off although their loan is affected by means testing so the more your parents earn the less you get.

    Scottish and Northern Irish students are the worst off - the maximum (means tested) loan is substantially less than their English and Welsh counterparts and if their parents even earn a modest income then they are penalized further.


    How can there be such a difference in terms of student living support across the four parts of the UK? Are the Scottish and Northern Irish education establishments trying to dissuade students from look for education outside their own country? I would be most surprised if the maximum loan available to these students would even cover lodgings should they decide to study in another part of the UK!
    Originally posted by Scopolamine
    That's the problem with systems with low/no tuition fees. The loans are too small so there's less money in the system to redistribute for maintenance. Scottish/Northern Irish students get a bigger overall subsidy if they earn well after graduation as there's less debt to repay and also lower interest is applied to the loans. The problem is it's less progressive as it's higher future earners that benefit from the subsidy.
    • Scopolamine
    • By Scopolamine 29th Jan 19, 12:28 PM
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    Scopolamine
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 19, 12:28 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 19, 12:28 PM
    It's not the educational establishments that decide the level of loan/grant but each country/province parliament.
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    My mistake. I should have realised that it was the local government rather than the EB.
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 29th Jan 19, 12:54 PM
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    unforeseen
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 19, 12:54 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 19, 12:54 PM
    Nope, not local government. That is things such as unitary authorities, borough councils etc


    Wales and Scotland have devolved governments. NI has a devolved government that is no longer functional and England uses the UK government
    • Scopolamine
    • By Scopolamine 29th Jan 19, 1:05 PM
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    Scopolamine
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 19, 1:05 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 19, 1:05 PM
    That's the problem with systems with low/no tuition fees. The loans are too small so there's less money in the system to redistribute for maintenance. Scottish/Northern Irish students get a bigger overall subsidy if they earn well after graduation as there's less debt to repay and also lower interest is applied to the loans. The problem is it's less progressive as it's higher future earners that benefit from the subsidy.
    Originally posted by Ed-1
    I definitely think this is something needs looking into. As far as I can tell only students from the least we'll off backgrounds (or those with wealthy families) can actually afford to go to a university that involves living away from home - even if it is in their own country, because they'll get some form of grant/bursary on top of the maximum living loan. Anyone else won't have the funds to live.

    If your maximum loan is 4800 and you have to pay out 4000 for your accommodation ( assumption is 40 weeks at 100pw) that'd leave you 20 to live off for your year at university. If your parents earn a modest income you'll get less than that and the parents will be expected to make up the difference - not that that'd help though as a thing less made back up to 4800 is still insufficient to live on to begin with.

    Perhaps Martin should raise some awkward questions with the appropriate people?
    • Ed-1
    • By Ed-1 29th Jan 19, 1:49 PM
    • 2,508 Posts
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    Ed-1
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 19, 1:49 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 19, 1:49 PM
    I definitely think this is something needs looking into. As far as I can tell only students from the least we'll off backgrounds (or those with wealthy families) can actually afford to go to a university that involves living away from home - even if it is in their own country, because they'll get some form of grant/bursary on top of the maximum living loan. Anyone else won't have the funds to live.

    If your maximum loan is 4800 and you have to pay out 4000 for your accommodation ( assumption is 40 weeks at 100pw) that'd leave you 20 to live off for your year at university. If your parents earn a modest income you'll get less than that and the parents will be expected to make up the difference - not that that'd help though as a thing less made back up to 4800 is still insufficient to live on to begin with.

    Perhaps Martin should raise some awkward questions with the appropriate people?
    Originally posted by Scopolamine
    He tends to focus on the English system.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 30th Jan 19, 9:26 AM
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    silvercar
    • #8
    • 30th Jan 19, 9:26 AM
    • #8
    • 30th Jan 19, 9:26 AM
    Martin Lewis has written about how much the government expects parents to contribute.

    Whether that is right or wrong, and whether it is right or wrong for it to be different in different countries is for debate.
    • Scopolamine
    • By Scopolamine 31st Jan 19, 1:48 PM
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    Scopolamine
    • #9
    • 31st Jan 19, 1:48 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Jan 19, 1:48 PM
    He tends to focus on the English system.
    Originally posted by Ed-1
    I guess that makes sense given that the vast majority of students are English (or at least from England).
    Last edited by Scopolamine; 31-01-2019 at 1:55 PM. Reason: Needed to correct an assumption about country of origin.
    • Scopolamine
    • By Scopolamine 31st Jan 19, 2:20 PM
    • 7 Posts
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    Scopolamine
    Martin Lewis has written about how much the government expects parents to contribute.

    Whether that is right or wrong, and whether it is right or wrong for it to be different in different countries is for debate.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    Quite possibly so, however I think they are two separate debates. The debate on whether the children of families with a higher income should be partly supported with that income and whether the support should be based solely on the amount of income or the amount of disposable income (after all monthly expenses are discounted) is different from the one which argues that some parts of the UK appear to provide insufficient financial support for students in order to live whilst at university compared to other parts of the UK and whether this is fair or in need of adjustment.
    • Scopolamine
    • By Scopolamine 31st Jan 19, 2:47 PM
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    • 0 Thanks
    Scopolamine
    It's not the educational establishments that decide the level of loan/grant but each country/province parliament.
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    Interesting then that the parliament decides the level of loan/grant but delegates the authority for deciding whether or not an individual is entitled to the funding to the local education board (least that seems to be the case for NI - can't comment on the rest of the UK)

    Given the backward nature of the currently non-existent NI parliament, that would certainly explain the lack of maintenance funds - they're still living in the 20th century (or maybe earlier). Can't think of any excuse for the parliament in Scotland though.
    • Scopolamine
    • By Scopolamine 31st Jan 19, 5:24 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Scopolamine
    After a bit more research I've uncovered the exact details of the financing (at least in NI) for student loans. Seems that there's a grant and a loan available to students there. The grant reduces and the loan increases as the household income increases. The combination starts at 6428 for students from households with incomes under 19200 and reduces as the income increases, Once the household income hits 30000 and above the combined value sticks at 4840 until you hit a household income of 41540 and above where it's no grant and a loan of 75% of the full grant (i.e. 3630).

    So basically parental contribution in this case should be 6428 - (grant + loan). Now if the grant and loan are allocated separately and you get separate letters informing you of such I can see Martins plan to inform students of their parental contribution being a real headache to implement.
    Last edited by Scopolamine; 31-01-2019 at 9:08 PM. Reason: Discovered that you only get maximum grant up to 41540, after that you get the non-means tested component of the grant (75%)
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