Graduate student loans interest rates Edinburgh

December 6, 2016
Heavy loads mean innovators

Mr Beel, 22, has a place on a distance learning course next year, but says he may consider deferring so that he can take up the loan. "I am working full time at my local college to fund the course, " he said.

"In a period of my life where I am also looking to save for other things - such as a deposit on a house - I massively welcome this news, " he said.

However, the new loan, available to students beginning courses in 2016, has come as a disappointment to many.

Students who are currently on a masters course, or due to start next year, took to Twitter to express their disappointment at losing out on the loan. Human Rights student N. James said: “A 10 grand loan for my masters would have made a massive difference. About time this postgrad problem was addressed. #toolate”. Nathan Hazlehurst, a postgraduate at Aberystwyth, said: “as much as I should be happy for people that can now get loan for masters students, my main words are: DAMN! TOO BL**DY LATE.”

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Older students also expressed their ire at being excluded from the plan. Current UCL student Lorna Richardson, 41, told The Telegraph that she was hoping to take a marine biology course. "It’s my dream course, but apparently I'm too ancient, " she said.

The £10, 000 loan cap has come under fire from postgraduate students and academics who say that it fails to cover the cost of master’s education.

"£10, 000 is simply not enough, " says current PhD student Lucy Atkinson, who completed her £7, 500-a-year masters degree at Lancaster University last year.

Typically masters’ degrees cost from £4, 000 in tuition fees for one year for a British student, and can be cheaper than fees charged to undergraduates in the same university.

However, some courses cost considerably more. An MBA course will cost more than double the loan that will be available to British students. Edinburgh University is among the most expensive course, charging £27, 100 for its year-long MBA degree.

Miss Atkinson, 25, says she took two part-time jobs to support herself because she could not get a loan. “I felt out of touch with my degree and worried about self-funding. I would definitely have taken this loan up.”

Previously postgraduate students could apply for a Professional Career Development Loan, the cheapest form of postgraduate degree financing.

The Government-backed bank loan scheme allows students to borrow between £300 and £10, 000 to pay for courses and training, through banks Barclays or The Co-op.

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