Social mobility experts have warned that government proposals to introduce minimum eligibility requirements for higher education loans in England will hit poorest students hardest, in effect “closing off university prospects at age three” for the most disadvantaged.
On Thursday ministers are expected to outline plans that would prevent pupils from taking out student loans to study at university if they fail maths and English GCSEs, as part of its long-awaited response to the Augar review of post-18 higher education funding.
Proposals to introduce a lifelong loan entitlement (LLE), worth the equivalent of four years of post-18 education to support students to train and study throughout their lives through flexible courses, are also expected to form part of the package of reforms, which are likely to be the subject of a lengthy consultation.
Headlines, however, are likely to focus on any government proposals to limit student numbers and block candidates who fail to pass GCSE maths or English, which many see as a retrograde step to efforts to widen participation in higher education.
Original article: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2022/feb/23/minimum-gcse-threshold-for-university-will-hit-poorest-hardest-say-experts