HC Deb 22 December 1997 vol 303 cc452-3W
Mr. Gorrie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make arrangements for students aged over 50 years to have access to loans to help them to pay their university or college fees and other costs. [20685]

Mr. Wilson

Under the new student support arrangements for full-time higher education, students aged over 50 will be eligible for means-tested help with tuition fees on the same basis as other students, which means that if they are on low incomes they will continue to receive free tuition.

Under the current student loans scheme, full-time students who are aged 50 or over when their course starts are not eligible for a loan and we do not plan any changes in those arrangements for academic year 1998–99. We will, however, be reviewing the position for future years in the context of the move to 100 per cent. loans for maintenance. Both full-time and part-time students in higher education will be eligible for Access Funds from academic year 1998–99, regardless of their age.