Maintenance Grants To Be Scrapped, Part-Time Students At New Low, Energy Prices To Be Slashed…
Maintenance grants will be quietly axed
It was reported in the Chancellor George Osborne's Budget that student maintenance grants would be scrapped, meaning disadvantaged students will no longer be entitled to a grant of up to £3,250.
Well, it's now been revealed that the government will not be allowing MPs to debate or vote on the matter – instead, the proposal will be going through a committee meaning there will be no opposition. Half a million students will miss out on the extra money, which looks to come in to effect September 2016.
Our take: One thing we must point out is that the maintenance loan – which all UK students are entitled to – will be increased to £8,200. This is good news, but we fail to see why the grant had to be axed. By going through a committee, MPs are prevented from potentially stopping the move which is just so shady and sneaky! If you're a potential student, please don't be put off – you may be entitled to other grants and bursaries to help you in your studies.
Part-time student numbers at new low
Figures suggest that the number of part-time uni students have fallen to a new low.
The number of part-time first years has fallen 38% in five years. Uni students studying part time are not eligible for a maintenance loan, and cannot get a loan for tuition fees if they are studying for a qualification that is equivalent, or less than, one they already have.
Our take: Some people cannot study full time, for various reasons. Why should these people be denied the loans that full-time students receive? It's no wonder that numbers have fallen, especially since the rise in tuition fees in 2012. If people can't afford to go to uni, they won't. The system desperately needs looking at! Remember that uni isn't the only choice – why not consider the alternative career routes?
Cambridge tops uni league table
No surprises here – Cambridge Uni has once again topped The Guardian's university league table. Rival uni Oxford came in second place.
St Andrews are third, same as last year but Surrey have climbed up the table from 6th to 4th, which is awesome news!
Our take: League tables are great to see how well your university is performing. They're especially helpful to potential students as they can get key data on how satisfied students are with aspects such as their course and teaching staff. Curious to see where your uni is? The full table is here.
Energy costs expected to fall
How's this for awesome news – wholesale energy costs are currently super low, and customers should (and rightly so) soon see their energy bills reduced!
The cost of gas is the lowest it's been in six years, and electricity is at a five year low. Prime Minister David Cameron is urging firms to pass on the savings to customers.
Our take: Of course energy bills should be slashed, it's only fair! Energy prices are already ridiculously expensive (we have some tips to help you save money on your energy bills here) and if the wholesale prices have gone down, so should the bills. Don't wait, though – switch suppliers and get the best deal now!
Graduate social workers and teachers needed
Thinking about a career in social work or teaching? Now's a good time to apply!
Frontline are looking to recruit high-quality graduates for a career in children's social work, and expect to get 1,000 graduates in social work by 2020.
The number of graduates training to become a teacher is falling so much that it's been predicted that there will soon be a 'crisis' and a serious lack of trainee teachers. They're crying out for teachers – so if that sounds like your dream job, why not give it a shot?
Our take: There's often a fear after uni about what the next step is, and many worry that they simply won't get a graduate job. The roll-out of a scheme to get graduates in to social work is great news as it'll help many graduates get in to that line of work, if that's the path they want to go down. Likewise, the shortage of teachers should encourage the government to appeal to more graduates by offering more ways to get in to teaching, so many more can start training. Not sure about teaching? Have a look at teaching English abroad, or there are loads more graduate schemes out there for so many different industries.