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Funding won't benefit poorest students

23 Jul 2007

Funding won't benefit poorest students Funding won't benefit poorest students

The increases in student funding recently announced by the government won't help the poorest of students, according to financial experts.

John Denham, secretary of the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, recently announced that students whose families earned less than £25,000 a year could get a full grant.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has since produced an analysis of the likely impact of these changes.

It has concluded that students from families earning less than £17,500 will not receive extra assistance - and the money should instead be put into improving schools.

The IFS explained: "It would probably be better to spend money trying to further improve school results rather than increasing subsidies for those who do make it to university.

"The most effective way of increasing participation in higher education among children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds is to improve their academic results in school.

"This is not an easy task, but taxpayer resources would be better utilised trying to solve this continuing problem."

This month, Gemma Tumelty, president of the National Union of Students, welcomed the extra funding announcement.

She said: "We are very pleased that the new government has listened to our concerns and announced significant improvements to student support."

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