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Flexible student finance system to be introduced from 2025

The current student finance system will be “radically transformed” for the academic year 2025/26, the Department for Education (DfE) has announced.

The introduction of the new Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE) will allow for flexible loans so people can “train, retrain and upskill throughout their working lives” and study in a way that suits the individual.

From 2025, people will be able to access loans that are the equivalent of four years of post-18 education to use over their work life flexibly, the Government has confirmed. This is currently £37,000 in tuition fees, but would be subject to change accordingly.

To bring Higher Technical Qualifications to the same view as academic routes, they will also be funded through the new system at level 4 and 5 (A level to degree level). This is expected to provide essential skills for practical careers.

In a press release on 7 March 2023, the government made an analogy that likened this new system to a flexi-travel card that “allows people to jump on and off their learning, as opposed to having a ticket with a single destination”.

People who have previously taken out loans will still be able to access this student finance, depending upon the loans they have already taken out. A “bank account” will be available online for each student to track their studies and see how much funding they have left.

The LLE will also allow, for the first time, returning students to access funding for studies at an equivalent or lower level than previously studied. However, people over the age of 60 will not be entitled to the LLE as it stands currently.

The DfE expects that this will open up opportunities for those that might have never considered higher education by being able to balance commitment like childcare alongside training or studies. They claim that this will “revolutionise” social mobility in the UK.

The government has made £20 million available to around 80 colleges and universities across England to support the initial delivering of courses in subjects such as digital, health & science and, engineering.

Expansions to the availability of maintenance loans will also be made for students studying more technical and part-time courses.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: “The Lifelong Loan Entitlement will give people flexibility to study, train and… will facilitate a complete culture shift in the way further and higher education is viewed and who it is available to.”


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