Sheffield students protest proposed changes to higher education system

The National Union of Students (NUS) said that on Tuesday May 3, students will gather outside the Department for Education (DfE) offices in Sheffield at 1 p.m., before a government consultation period closes on Friday, May 6.

In February, the DfE announced a consultation on changes to the English higher education system, including the possibility of introducing minimum university entry standards.

He is also considering moving to a system where students would need a minimum of a Year 4 (equivalent to the old ‘C’) in English and Maths at GCSE, or two E grades at A level for be eligible for loans.

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The National Union of Students will protest the government’s proposed changes to higher education outside the offices of the Department for Education in Sheffield on May 3 at 1pm.

Experts from the Institute for Fiscal Studies said the proposals would disproportionately affect students from ethnic minorities and low-income families.

NUS UK chair Larissa Kennedy said: ‘The government’s changes to student loans are calculated cruelty. These changes will allow the highest earners to save £20,000, while new graduates with low and middle incomes in the tens of thousands of pounds will pay back thousands of extra pounds over their careers.

“At a time when the cost of living is skyrocketing and real incomes are collapsing, for the most vulnerable, these classist changes could be the difference between getting warm and eating. The minister imposes unimaginable debts on young people for the next forty years of their lives.

“Their plans to introduce minimum entry requirements are an attack on opportunity. This government repeats the language of “race to the top”, but these proposals are classist, ableist and racist: they cruelly target members of marginalized communities and seek to keep education. »

The IFS study indicated that for the 2011 and 2012 GCSE cohorts, almost one in four undergraduates who qualified for free school meals by the age of 16 would have been denied access to student loans if a GCSE English and Maths threshold had been put in place. .

Moreover, requiring GCSE English and maths would have had a disproportionate impact on black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani students compared to white British students.

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