§ Mr. Rosindell
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to offer additional financial support to Northern Irish higher education students to take into account the costs of travelling to universities in Great Britain. 
§ Jane Kennedy
The student loan, which is available to Northern Irish students attending higher education institutions in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, is intended to meet students' living costs such as accommodation, food and travel. Northern Ireland students who study at institutions in Great Britain or the Republic of Ireland, or at institutions in Northern Ireland which are not within reasonable travelling distance of the parental home are currently able to access a higher rate of student loan than those students living in the parental home.
The Department has no plans to offer additional financial support to Northern Irish higher education students travelling to universities in Great Britain.
§ Mr. Beggs
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent meetings he has held with(a) the Secretary of State for Education and (b) representatives from universities to discuss the implications of the Higher Education Bill for Northern Ireland's universities and students; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Jane Kennedy
While the Higher Education Bill, does not, in the main apply to Northern Ireland, it has significant implications in view of the strong links between the HE Sectors and the level of student flows between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Since the publication of the White Paper, I have had discussions with the Secretary of State for Education on the potential implications of the proposals in the Bill for Northern Ireland, and I am fully aware of the respective views of the two universities.
It is my intention to bring forward proposals soon for the way forward in Northern Ireland, taking into account discussions with local stakeholders, including the universities and the student representative body the NUS/USI, and advice from the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council (NIHEC).