UK high school students who fail maths and English exams could be banned from taking out college loans under proposals due to be announced by the UK government on Thursday.
The UK government should provide “minimum eligibility requirements to ensure that students are not pushed into higher education before they are ready, and checks on student numbers, so that courses of poor quality and low cost have no incentive to expand out of control,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Education.
The proposals follow a review of UK higher education funding
Minimum entry requirements could prevent UK students from getting a state-funded university loan if they don’t achieve at least a Level 4, the equivalent of a ‘C’ grade, in maths and English in their secondary school exams, called GCSEs.
An alternative minimum entry requirement is also expected to be offered, giving students access to college loans only if they achieve at least two “E” grades on their pre-college exams – known as A-Levels – with certain exemptions, as for mature students. .
In the UK, university loans are publicly funded, with repayments usually coming directly from graduates’ paychecks after earning a certain amount.
Students who started a course before the start of September 2012, when tuition costs up to £3,465 ($4,709) a year, start paying back loans once they earn over £19,895 per year. Students who started a course after this point, once fees have been increased to £9,000, start paying back loans once they earn over £27,295 a year.
Student loans in the UK are canceled 25-30 years after you have to start paying them back. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, about four-fifths of students will probably never fully repay their loans.
Tuition fees in most of the UK are £9,250 per year for courses starting in 2022 to 2023.
Government data showed that in 2021 around 22% of UK pupils failed to achieve a Grade 4 in maths, while almost 19% failed to pass the grade in English.
Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said the UK government should “expand opportunities, not restrict them”.
While Jarvis acknowledged that full details of the proposals had yet to be released, he said Universities UK opposed measures that “roll back progress made by universities to bring in more people from backgrounds disadvantaged into higher education and better jobs”.
Data from the UK Universities and Colleges Admissions Service last week showed that 28% of young people from the most deprived parts of the country had applied to university this year, up from almost 18% in 2013.