Labour is set to challenge the government this afternoon over their decision to scrap the maintenance grant from September 2016.
The debate is to be held at The House of Commons, where Labour’s Gordon Marsden is going to argue that not enough consideration has been given to families with a lower income.
The government, who plans to replace the grant with loans, believes that there will now be extra support for students who are going into further education.
SUBU Vice President of Welfare, Reece Pope, said: “The proposed changes can potentially lead to students from disadvantaged backgrounds being locked out of higher education. It introduces a penalty whereby the increase of debt can cripple those from less fortunate backgrounds, and creates a segregation gap between those with higher incomes.”
Although the full details have not been released as of yet, figures show that from Autumn 2016, students living outside of London will be able to receive £8,200 instead of £7,434 in the form of repayable loans.
This motive is expected to affect an estimated half a million students from lower income families.
Oliver Pickett, currently studying at Bournemouth University, said: “Students will now have the opportunity to take out the maximum loan and spend it all, and then students will struggle to pay that back creating more stress.”
Hattie Ray, a Bournemouth University student, said: “I think that it shouldn’t be scrapped because some people really need it to live off. If they’re not living with parents, or their parents don’t earn enough money it’s not right to deprive them.”
In addition to this Rebecca Hayden, from Brighton University, said: “Without a maintenance grant I would have not been able to come to university and do my degree. £9000 a year tuition fee already means that students come out with a large debt, to add an additional loan onto this is ridiculous. Once again it will only be the wealthy that are able to go to university.”
However student, Oliver Papa, believes “although we will have to pay it back, we will actually have more money given to us. I think it won’t bother students too much, because we will pay it back in tiny instalments and only when earning a comfortable salary.”