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Changes to student maintenance loans: UA’s response


Published on January 30, 2024

On Thursday 25 January, the government announced that maintenance loan payments would rise by 2.5% from September 2024 for students in England.

On Friday 26th, the Department for Education released its Equality Impact Assessment for HE student finance in 2024/25, which looked at the impact of the proposed changes.

In our latest briefing, we highlight how the proposed levels of student maintenance support fall short, and make the case for improved student maintenance support in line with inflation.

The briefing highlights how:

  • The latest proposed changes to student maintenance will have a ‘negative impact for students’.
  • Student maintenance support is now falling far short of student living costs.
  • Students from the poorest families are the most impacted, and social mobility may be threatened as a result.
  • Universities, Students’ Unions and the Government have increased support, but current hardship funding cannot meet demand.
  • Increasing maintenance support for students commands popular support.

UA recommendations

University Alliance’s recommendations on student maintenance are to:

  • In the short-term, uprate student loans to keep pace with the increased cost of living. Any uprating should be linked to the minimum wage, as proposed in the Augar Review
  • In the medium-term reinstate means-tested maintenance grants for the students who are most in need of them.

View UA’s full briefing on the student cost of living here.