Low-achieving pupils should be banned from taking out loans, MPs claim

Low-achieving pupils should be banned from taking out loans, MPs claim

Low-achieving pupils should be banned from taking out student loans, MPs claim as they criticise ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses being funded by the taxpayer

  • Lobbyists call for number of students on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses to be slashed

Low-achieving pupils should be banned from taking out student loans to fund a huge expansion in apprenticeships, MPs will urge today.

The New Conservatives lobby group will call for the number of students on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses at the taxpayer’s expense to be slashed.

In a report, the group will point out that ‘too many courses… are propped up by Government funding that do not deliver value for money to the student’.

And the group suggests that those who get lower marks, such as three Es, at A-Level should be banned from applying for student loans to cut the overall bill.

The idea is part of a plan aimed at dramatically reducing the number of young people going to university.

Authored by MPs Jonathan Gullis (pictured) and Lia Nici, the report says of many degrees: ‘Contact hours and the rigour of courses are often low, and the earnings potential of graduates does not justify the debt accrued’

The report (authored by MPs Jonathan Gullis and Lia Nici, pictured) says: ‘There is a common misconception that young people have the right to attend university – but they do not have the right to study ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses at the taxpayer’s expense’

Authored by MPs Jonathan Gullis and Lia Nici, the report says of many degrees: ‘Contact hours and the rigour of courses are often low, and the earnings potential of graduates does not justify the debt accrued. Too often graduates work in non-graduate level jobs with little to no hope of earning enough to even start repaying student loans years after graduating.

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‘There is a common misconception that young people have the right to attend university – but they do not have the right to study ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses at the taxpayer’s expense.’

The report argues that it is the ‘students with the lowest academic attainment who tend to undertake poorer quality degrees that do not lead to graduate-level salaries’. And in turn, loans for subjects such as creative arts, performing arts and communications are rarely repaid.

Some £20 billion is loaned to around 1.5 million university students in England each year, figures show.

The value of outstanding loans at the end of March 2023 reached £206 billion and the Government forecasts the value of outstanding loans to be around £460 billion by the mid-2040s.

The MPs write that, in contrast, high-performing degree-level apprenticeships often deliver earnings well above those of graduates. The report also calls for a minimum student loan repayment of £45 per calendar month for those not meeting the current salary threshold.

It estimates the savings from the changes would amount to £1.8 billion per year.

The ideas are part of 17-point plan for skills and education that will be unveiled by the group later today.

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