MEMORANDUM FROM THE NATIONAL UNION OF
STUDENTS (HE 123)
NUS welcomes the opportunity to submit evidence
to the Education and Employment Select Committee's enquiry into
retention in higher education.
The National Union of Students represents three
million students in further and higher education in England and
Wales. Issues of welfare, access and the related issue of retention
are of central concern to NUS.
NUS supports individual members via the welfare
support services at local student unions and through casework
at NUS headquarters.
On a national level, NUS campaigns on policies affecting welfare
and student funding, which play a major role both in the decision
to enter higher education and in the decision to remain in higher
NUS' response therefore focuses on two broad
issues, that of student finance and that of student support.
". . . the current financial system for
full-time higher education students is ineffective, insufficient
and administratively complicated."
Financial considerations are a key element in
decisions to withdraw from university. Professor Mantz Yorke (1997)
found that financial considerations often combined with other
difficulties to ensure that students could not remain in higher
education. The DfEE's own figures put the drop-out rate at 20
and the 1998-9 Student Income and Expenditure Survey, conducted
by Professor Claire Callender, highlights financial difficulties
as a key motivation for those students considering dropping out:
". . . financial reasons were cited most often by all students".
The NUS Student Hardship Survey (1999) showed
that a third of full-time undergraduates considered dropping out
of studies at least occasionally. For those students, financial
difficulties had been a strong factor, at 34.4 per cent.
NUS research and the research of others has
shown that the financial position of students is worsening. The
preliminary negative effects of the new funding arrangements on
access have been noted by recent NUS research and through casework.
Given the link between finance and non-completion, the effect
on retention in higher education is likely to follow the same
Increasing financial pressures
The 1999 NUS Student Hardship Survey pointed
to increasing financial difficulties for students in higher education.
Whilst the average maintenance package for a student living away
from home (outside London) was £3,540 per year, average accommodation
costs were £44.98 per week, leaving the student with £23.10
per week to pay for bills, food, clothes, books and travel. In
the same year the Job Seeker's Allowance paid £39.85 per
week, in addition to providing housing benefit.
Students' unions throughout England and Wales
have noted the financial difficulties encountered by students
as a result of the withdrawal of maintenance grants and the inadequacy
of access and bursary funds in making up the shortfall. Increasingly,
students are finding that the financial cost of higher education
is too much to bear. For some this means that entering higher
education is not a valid option, for others the costs incurred
ensures that continuing a university education is simply not viable.
The Student Income and Expenditure Survey,
though completed before the impact of the withdrawal of grants
points to a worrying degree of student debt. Ancillary costs (such
as housing, course expenses and travel), as has been consistently
noted by NUS, are rising. When combined with the burden of paying
tuition fees (but when still able to receive a grant), at the
end of the academic year, student debt trebled between 1995-6
"Since 1995-6, more full-time students
have got more heavily into debt, owing considerably larger sums
of money, to a broader range of creditors."
This trend is likely to become more severe when
the effect of the withdrawal of grants is factored in.
Though often represented as a "middle-class"
or high socio-economic status expense, it is often the student
who bears the cost of tuition fees:
The Student Income and Expenditure found that:
20 per cent of students whose parents
had been assessed to make a contribution towards fees had a shortfall
of £579 per year;
10 per cent of first year undergraduates
personally contributed an average of £803 towards their fees.
Furthermore, the survey found that students
tended to finance fees through funds intended exclusively for
maintenance provision (ie a student loan or maintenance grant
which is already insufficient to cover living costs). This accords
with an increasing number of NUS cases where students are relying
on maintenance funds to repay debts to higher education institutions.
Indeed, in some cases students have been denied hardship funds
where they intend to use them to settle outstanding debts with
higher education institutions (HEIs). The management boards of
several HEIs including some of the "access" universities
in London, and the University of Central England, have experienced
an increasing percentage of students in arrears.
Students on high cost courses (for example architecture,
art and design) are not given extra funding to meet essential
course costs. However, students often underestimate the costs
associated with study. Universities UK research found that those
most likely to underestimate the costs were students over 25,
Black students and those with a family history of higher education.
All such extra participation costs, if unplanned, may make the
financial strain of full-time study impractical for students with
no financial safety net.
"I'm dreading the day very soon when I
am going to have to tell a student who is in trouble that there
is no money there for them to access."
The DfEE's review of Hardship Loans and Access
Funds (HLAF) in 1999-2000 was welcomed by NUS, in recognition
that discretionary funding through Access Funds was not operating
effectively to aid either access or retention. Institutions, faced
with overwhelming demand for the funds, were not able to give
the level of funding requested by students to meet their hardship
needs, particularly in the form of grant-based bursaries. The
problem is widespread and has been noted by many student unions'
"I know that most institutions are faced
with the imminent exhaustion of hardship funds but when I directed
this concern towards a representative of the DfEE, the reply that
I received was that our criteria for award of funds need to be
more stringent. We already expect applicants to be holding a part
time job (unless they are a final year student) and to have previously
applied for the Student Loans Company's Hardship Loan. Is that
not stringent enough? More and more students are having to rely
on these funds to survive, and without them, drop out rates are
bound to increase even more."
The 2000-01 provision of grant-based funding
through Mature Student Bursaries (aimed at students with dependants
who have child-related costs) and the forthcoming 2000-2001 provision
through statutory Childcare Grants (for registered childcare),
discretionary Access Bursaries (for child-related costs, not including
registered childcare) and discretionary Opportunity Bursaries
(for young talented low income students) is welcomed by NUS. However,
careful evaluation of this funding is needed to ascertain whether
a discretionary basis for allocating these funds will aid retention.
NUS is concerned that without a statutory guaranteed entitlement
to additional grant-based funds, students are still unable to
plan budgets effectively for the duration of their whole course,
as opposed to for one year only. The consequences for retention
of being unable to confidently financially plan for the duration
of a course needs to be looked into.
As a result of the nature and frequency of provisions,
the current system of student support is disjointed. Although
there have been attempts to address the shortfall in support for
certain groups, this has not been matched by a review of related
issues, such as benefits. Therefore, in addition to being inadequate
and often discretionary, some students are finding that one source
of funds is in conflict with another.
Students at work
The NUS Student Hardship Survey (1999) found
that 42 per cent of full-time students in HE work part-time during
term time. Increasing numbers of students are finding that, as
a result of hardship, they have no alternative but to undertake
paid work during term-time.
The shift from grant to loan-based funding has
been accompanied by an increased reliance on paid work. Under
the current system, the level of loan provided in the final year
of study is less than in the preceeding year. This is on the basis
that loans in this year do not need to cover the summer vacation.
However, most students, especially those in London, use their
full loan provision during term-time and work to support themselves
during vacations. The current system forces students to work during
the most critical year of their academic studies:
"I was forced to work the most hours per
week at the end of my third year, when revision for my exams should
have been my priority".
The NUS Students at Work Survey (1999) found
that difficulties in balancing work and study time resulted in
59 per cent finding that work affected their studies. Furthermore,
38 per cent had missed lectures as a result of working, with 21
per cent failing to submit coursework. Excessive paid work has
the dual effect of increasing stress, exacerbated by reduced time
spent on non-academic activities, and interfering with academic
study and timetables.
Work pressures often lead to the inability to
fulfil academic commitments and stress, factors that feed into
decisions to discontinue studies. As a result of the increase
both in hours worked and increasing numbers of students with no
alternative but to work, the quality of academic work and the
well being of students are being eroded. The NUS Students and
Work Survey (1999) concluded that:
"The hours of work needed to sustain themselves
financially is eating into student time and increasing students'
feeling of stress and tiredness."
NUS recognises the need to work during term-time,
but recommends a limit of 10-12 hours per week. The NUS recommendation
is based on research from the University of Paisley suggesting
the maximum limit of work per week before academic study is adversely
"Working in excess of 10 hours per week
was significantly related to a perceived negative impact on attendance,
coursework and exam performance".
The Independent Committee of Inquiry into Student
Finance Report (1999) (Cubie Report) found that part-time work
is more likely among students from low socio-economic groups,
who tend to be more "debt averse" if support is entirely
in the form of loans. Furthermore, the report stated that increased
hours of work are less likely if support is targeted towards students
from low-income backgrounds in the form of non-repayable grants.
Given the increasing levels of debt among students,
the aim of increasing and sustaining participation among low-income
students, and the detrimental effects linked to increased hours
of work during term-time, NUS recommends that the current system
of support, specifically for those from low socio-economic backgrounds,
be investigated, with a view to providing non-discretionary targeted
Students and benefits
"The current system does not seem to be
in anyone's interest. . . as it is needlessly complicated and
understood by very few people, including (or especially) official
"In the summer vacation 2000 the Advice
Centre received an increase in enquiries of 37 per cent compared
to summer 1999. However, enquiries regarding financial issues
increased by 59 per cent and, within this, enquiries relating
to welfare benefits increased by 334 per cent".
Most full-time students are ineligible for social
security benefits. The exception to the rule are lone parents,
student couples with dependent children (during the long vacation
only) and students with disabilities. These are among the most
vulnerable students in higher education, and they often find the
transition from full benefit entitlement to student debt the hardest.
Indeed, the Institute for Policy Studies in education recently
noted that single mothers and students previously on benefits
were "particularly at risk".
Some specific difficulties have arisen concerning
student loans and welfare benefits. Under current regulations,
loans are deemed by the Benefits Agency and local authorities
to count in assessments of income. When student loans or hardship
funds are included in assessment for Housing Benefit, Income Support
and Council Tax Benefit, the amount received is significantly
diminished, despite the fact that loans must be repaid. Paradoxically,
loan repayments are not counted in calculations for benefit entitlement
once the student is no longer in the higher education system (due
to graduation or non-completion). The problem has become an important
issue for many students on a low income, often with dependants;
many students' unions have identified the situation as comprising
a major part of welfare casework in the 2000-01 academic year.
The current system lacks a comprehensive recognition of the situation
of students relying on benefits and is also highly complex:
". . . the regulations which affect students'
entitlement to state benefits are complex and confusing to students".
There is currently a policy discrepancy between
the DfEE and DSS in the treatment of student income:
"It is clear that there has been little
liaison between Income Support/Job Seeker Allowance and Housing
Benefit/Council Tax Benefit and the Tax Credits policy staff,
let alone with the DfEE".
Whilst the DfEE currently treats the loan as
a 52 week income, the DSS treats it as income over three academic
quarters, leading to confusion and further difficulties in budgeting.
More specifically, the treatment of student income over academic
quarters that do not fit in with the actual study period means
that students are likely to be without any source of income between
1 September and the actual resumption of their course. This is
due to the fact that the loan is regarded as "income",
despite the fact that students cannot access their loan until
the actual start of their term.
This situation is particularly problematic for
lone parents, who may lose a substantial proportion of income
from benefits, including Housing Benefits. The consequent financial
difficulties compound problems, such as time management and child-care,
making it increasingly challenging to remain in higher education:
". . . a single parent on benefits will
have had a relatively `stable' financial position and budgeted
according to the payment of their benefits on a regular basis.
When they become a student they are faced with a multitude of
agencies, regulations and assessments to access their entitlements.
. . it's a huge challenge trying to get entitlements sorted, but
then having to deal with different payment dates makes it even
worse. Anyone who can smoothly readjust their budgeting effectively
deserves a degree!".
is a paper submitted by NUS, the National Association of Students
Money Advisers (NASMA) and the Association of Managers of Student
Services in Higher Education (AMOSSHE) to the DfEE for the Interdepartmental
Group (DfEE, Inland Revenue, DSS and DoH), which outlines some
of the specific problems in this area.
Karen, 30, is an Industrial Relations undergraduate
at a London college. Although Karen is currently in her second
year of academic study, she is in her third year at her institution,
having had her studies interrupted due to illness. She has been
independent of her family since the age of 17 and until she became
ill she had never applied for welfare benefits.
"I was made homeless at the beginning of
lent term due to non-payment of rent caused by maladministration
of my Housing Benefit claim. My local authority were only able
to offer me hostel accommodation, which quite naturally I didn't
wish to accept. I was informed that the illness from which I suffer
was not sufficiently severe to warrant a council property but
should it worsen they would reconsider my application. . .
The NUS advice centre managed to arrange for
me to be housed as an emergency/priority in halls of residence,
for which I am incredibly thankful. This has now caused another
problem: hall fees take up almost my entire student loan, and
my only other income is Incapacity Benefit. Halls must be vacated
for three months over the summer and I will not now, as a student
in receipt of loans, be eligible for Housing Benefit."
". . . the service that I have received
from the student union advice centre has been essential to the
continuation of my studies and I would be living in a hostel barely
surviving on benefits if it were not for the involvement of these
Students from low socio-economic backgrounds
Previous research has found that students from
low-income groups are more likely to withdraw from higher education
on the basis of financial difficulties than students from more
privileged backgrounds. Professor Mantz Yorke's 1997 study of
non-completion clearly demonstrated that working class students
were the key group reporting the influence of financial difficulties
in their decision to abandon academic study. A recent occasional
paper from the Institute for Policy Studies in Education also
pointed to the centrality of finance as an issue for working class
students who fail to complete.
Students from the lowest socio-economic backgrounds,
often without emergency funds to call upon and unable to rely
on financial assistance from families, are the most likely to
be affected by increasing levels of debt. Furthermore, working
class students tend to be "debt averse" and are therefore
more likely than those from higher income groups to work during
term-time to support themselves. Tuition fees have been introduced
subsequent to the most recent studies, and, most importantly,
maintenance grants have been withdrawn. NUS expects rates of non-completion
to increase due to the new funding arrangements and increased
hardship; NUS also expects that financial difficulties will play
a greater role in all decisions to withdraw.
The DfEE Student Income and Expenditure Survey
found that increases in expenditure have been afforded by borrowing
amongst younger students and the use of savings amongst older
students. When the withdrawal of grants takes effect, at best
borrowings for all students will escalate, increasing the investment
risk of higher education. For those vulnerable students who do
take on the cost of a university education, the financial pressures
throughout their academic career may become insupportable, especially
for those from low socio-economic groups and lone parents who
have no contingency funds to call upon.
According to the NUS Student Hardship Survey
(1999), conducted in the transition year from means-tested grants
to means-tested loans, a significant proportion (47.5 per cent)
of respondents felt that financial difficulties had adversely
affected their performance in their studies. For full-time undergraduates,
worry and stress featured as their main problem (36.3 per cent
citing this as a factor), with 28.2 per cent claiming difficulties
in buying books, and 27.9 per cent claiming that paid work interfered
with their academic studies.
Students with dependants
As Professor Yorke notes, mature students are
often better equipped to deal with the commitments of academic
study and have a clearer idea of what their chosen degree demands.
Decisions to not complete academic study therefore tend to be
related to external difficulties or commitments.
Lone parents are key pressure points in higher
education, most recently noted in the SIES:
"In 1995-6 lone parents exhibited the highest
levels of financial strain compared with other student groups.
In 1998-9 they were also the most vulnerable financially because
they had no contingency funds whatsoever to call upon. . . they
had no savings but all of them had debts."
Professor Callender has found that lone parents
studying full-time spent an average of £1,457 on childcare,
compared with only a third of that figure (£532) paid by
married or co-habiting students.
Lone parents face a combination of pressures,
experiencing more difficulties in achieving a successful balance
between study and care commitments, and with greater financial
demands due to dependants. Frequently struggling with a tight
budget prior to entering higher education, the conversion to student
status is a source of immense strain, as observed by one student
advisor in an NUS consultation on behalf of the DfEE (included
in Annex A):
"The transition from benefits to student
funding for many lone parents is a difficult time and most claim
to be worse off due to the hidden costs and irregularity of payments.
. . "
In a consultation of student advisors conducted
by NUS on behalf of the DfEE, the most commonly criticised student
funding gap that left students most vulnerable to non-completion
was accessing any entitlement to income for many students who
are intercalating (ie those full-time students who have to suspend
their studies due to illness, pregnancy, financial reasons, personal
commitments etc). The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC)
highlighted this issue in its report on the draft Social Security
Amendment (Students) Regulations 2000.
The government did not include the SSAC's recommendation on extending
statutory entitlement to support to all intercalating students
in its amended regulations.
Currently, under the Education (Student Support)
Regulations, the only guarantee of income is for students who
are ill for the first 60 days.
There have been recent concessions on entitlement to Jobseeker's
Allowance and Housing Benefit entitlement for students who have
been ill or caring and are waiting to return to their studies,
in addition to Income Support entitlement for students who have
been ill for 28 weeks or more (providing they can supply acceptable
However, these concessions cease at the beginning of the academic
year, which may cause a funding gap for students who have to return
to their course mid-year.
Students who intercalate for any other reason,
such as pregnancy, personal problems, intermittent mental illness
and so on, have no entitlement to either student support or to
social security benefits. Also for students who are ill after
60 days and before the end of 28 weeks, and for students who have
caring responsibilities, there is also no entitlement to support
during these periods of suspended study. These students are left
to the discretion of their LEA to extend their support period
or to the discretion of their institution to provide Access or
Non-availability of support for many full-time
students who suspend their studies has led to financial hardship
and potential abandonment of studies. For the majority of intercalating
students, it is not possible to support themselves through paid
work, therefore, as the Social Security Advisory Committee commented,
the current arrangements,
". . . reinforce a policy which causes
hardship, affects the least well-off students most severely and
leads to the abandonment of courses and is thus contrary to the
Government's policy on HE".
The current gap in provision between the DfEE
and the DSS works against the government's overall intention to
Inextricably linked to finance issues, supporting
students throughout their academic careers is vital to ensuring
that students complete their studies. NUS offers a comprehensive
support network to ensure that academic goals are not eroded by
other considerations, but this support needs to complemented by
the government and higher education institutions.
Whilst aiding students on issues of welfare
and caseworking, NUS has noted two points:
(a) Support structures for students provided
by HEIs tend to vary from institution to institution and are often
(b) In addition to relying on students'
unions for advice and assistance on legal matters, finance, counselling,
and issues of accommodation etc, in terms of academic structures
and related issues (such as workload and related issues such as
stress), students often rely on academic staff as a source of
In terms of the formal support structures provided
by HEIs, there needs to be more comprehensive and better provision,
which explicitly recognises diversity within the student population.
Currently, in contrast to regulations in further education, HEIs
are not penalised when they lose students, and funding is not
recouped by HEFCE on the basis of an institution's drop-out rate.
Role of Staff
The role of academic staff as informal "intermediaries"
between students and academic structures is being eroded by current
inadequacies in pay and conditions. The casualisation of academic
staff and the use of postgraduate and part-time staff in teaching
capacities as a result of inadequate pay, has led to fewer avenues
of advice and support for students. Where academic staff are underpaid
and conditions are unacceptable, staff are unable to act as extra-curricular
support networks for students.
Increases in staff have not occurred at the
same rate as increases in student numbers. As a consequence, classes
tend to be larger and contact time with students is significantly
reduced, preventing staff from carrying out their traditional
role of pastoral care.
Casualisation, entailing the payment of staff
at hourly rates, purely for teaching duties, means that the ability
to deal with students' queries and problems are further reduced.
Professor Yorke's study shows that, of the 61
per cent of students who had sought advice from institutions,
academic staff were approached the most often, approximately twice
as frequently as the institutions' support services:
"These results indicate the abiding importance
of the staff-student relationship at a time when. . . the pastoral
aspect of the academic's role was under threat."
In order to ensure that the valuable resources
and pastoral care offered by staff continues, the current system,
under which staff are demotivated, overworked, and unable to answer
the demands of all students, needs to be addressed.
"It is recognised that once within higher
education without suitable guidance the degree potential of many
disadvantaged students may be unable to fully develop".
The Government's Excellence Challenge document
set out plans for widening access in higher education, in line
with the aim to increase participation to 50 per cent among the
under 30s. Though NUS applauds this move, there needs to be a
better means of monitoring and supporting all students, especially
those traditionally under-represented in HE. There needs to be
comprehensive support systems, in addition to proper student funding
arrangements, to ensure that any students encouraged to participate
in HE do not encounter unacceptable or insurmountable barriers
whilst at university.
NUS has already found that, since the introduction
of the new funding arrangements, access has become more restricted,
with the numbers of Black African and Caribbean male applicants
falling by 4.2 per cent and mature applicants falling by 14.2
Restricted funds and increased costs, combined with inadequacies
in welfare support and advice offered by HEIs are likely once
again to affect minority groups in HE the most severely.
NUS casework points to under-represented groups
being the most in need of support throughout their academic careers.
As explained above, support tends to be provided informally by
academic staff rather than formally by the HEI. In order to reflect
the aspirations for diversity in the student population, this
needs to be reflected in equality for staff. NUS supports the
recommendations of the Bett Report to ensure equal treatment for
Pre-entry information and advice
The period prior to entry and the induction
period are crucial for non-traditional students , when guidance
and support are essential to prevent students from withdrawing.
Ozga and Sukhanandan's study of non-completing students showed
that 49 per cent of 1,300 non-completers withdrew between the
months of August and January. Professor
Yorke's study shows that students who are better prepared for
higher education study are more likely to complete courses. Adequate
information about finances, workloads, course costs and forms
of assessment prior to entry play a key role in the preparedness
of students for academic study and university life.
The responsibility of HEIs in providing pre-entry
information and clear guidance throughout the term of study is
clear. Professor Yorke recommends that HEIs should review their
system of student support to maximise completion potential. However,
some institutions are failing to provide even the most basic advice.
A key example of this shortfall is the information provided about
hidden course costs, the case study below highlights this problem:
Hidden course costs at 'X' University
|1.||£100 registration and facilities (over and above HND fees)HND Forestry
|2.||£30 "bench fees" : Pharmacy, Biology and Chemistry students - there is no information on exactly what these fees cover, despite the students' union and students seeking clarification from departments and the institution.
|3.||£50 workshop fees introduced without warning to third year students: Interior Architecture.
1. Increased costs of higher education
NUS recommends that those who participate in HE contribute
towards tuition costs when they are in a position to do so, and
once their income demonstrates that they have benefited from their
investment in higher education, through a system of graduate contributions,
such as those recommended by the Cubie Report.
2. Low income students/students at work
NUS has noted the vulnerability of students from low-income
backgrounds and the increased likelihood of those students undertaking
paid work which is detrimental to their studies. We therefore
recommend that the current system of support, specifically in
relation to those from low socio-economic groups, be investigated,
with a view to providing non-discretionary targeted grants to
minimise financial pressures and to minimise the number of hours
that such students need to work in order to support themselves.
The lower loan entitlement in the final year of study is
based on inaccurate assumptions on the way students utilise such
funds (ie most students use entire funds during term-time, whilst
working to support themselves during vacations). NUS recommends
that loan provision in the final year of study needs to equal
that of previous years, in order to minimise negative effects
at such a crucial period of academic study. In addition, the London
rate of loan provision needs to be extended to other high-cost
areas such as the South-East of England.
4. Discretionary funding
NUS recommends an evaluation of the effectiveness of discretionary
funding in aiding retention, especially in terms of the most vulnerable
groups (those from low-income backgrounds, students with dependants
and mature students).
5. Intercalating Students
There needs to be a more productive interface between the
DfEE and DSS in relation to intercalating students. NUS recommends
that either the DfEE or the DSS should accept responsibility for
providing an entitlement to funding for all students who intercalate
for whatever reason. In addition, better monitoring of the extent
of intercalation, the reasons and duration needs to be collected,
in order to understand the financial and retention issues within
6. Students and benefits
NUS wishes to emphasise the need for greater co-ordination
between the DfEE and other agencies involved in supporting students.
NUS specifically recommends a review of the current system of
entitlements which recognises the complexity of the issues and
maximises the involvement and sustained participation of non-traditional
students in higher education.
7. Pre-entry information
NUS calls for HEIs to maximise the availability of clear
and realistic information regarding course requirements, such
as time commitments, assessments, and the true costs of study.
This is particularly important in terms of non-traditional students,
who are often less well-versed than those from higher socio-economic
groups on the requirements of academic study and the pressures
of university life.
Students from non-traditional backgrounds are often in greater
need of support, and the dual approach of widening and maintaining
access needs to be addressed in any scheme relating to boosting
participation among under-represented groups in HE.
NUS would wish to see more rigorous targets set for HEIs,
with the possibility of funding for those students who drop out
being recovered by the funding body, in order to ensure that HEIs
maximise the support provided to students, and thus the likelihood
of students completing courses.
9. Hidden Course Costs
Clear and realistic information on the true costs of study,
such as photocopying, printing, and field trips must be provided
to students before they make course choices.
NUS recommends the provision of grant based funding needs
to meet these needs, preferably on a statutory basis. If costs
must be met by the Hardship Funds, then institutions need to assess
extra course costs and offer course costs grants to these students.
NUS has noted the central role of staff in supporting students
and reducing the likelihood of non-completion. We therefore recommend
a better pay and conditions package for academic staff which will
have the dual aim of aiding recruitment and retention of staff,
and which will permit staff to maintain and maximise their pastoral
role. In addition, equality needs to be emphasised, in line with
increasing diversity among the student population. NUS recommends
the full implementation of the Bett Report as the ideal means
of achieving these ends.
Department of Education and Employment (2000); The Excellence
Challenge: The Government's Proposals for Widening Participation
of Young People in Higher Education; DfEE; London
Department of Education and Employment (2000); Report
of the Access Funds and Hardship Loans Review; DfEE, Student
Support Division 1; London
Department of Education and Employment (2000); Student
Income and Expenditure Survey; Claire Callender and Martin
Kemp; DfEE; London
HEFCE (1997) Undergraduate Non-completion in Higher Education
in England; HEFCE Report 97/29; Bristol
Independent Committee of Inquiry into Student Finance (1999),
Student Finance: Fairness for the Future; Scottish Executive;
Institute for Policy Studies in Education (2000); Social
Class and Access to Higher Education, occasional paper 2;
Louise Archer; University of North London; London
National Union of Students (2000); Equal Access or Elitist
Entry?: The Impact of Student Funding on Access to Higher Education;
National Union of Students (1999); NUS Student Hardship
Survey; NUS; London
National Union of Students (1999); NUS Students at Work
Survey; NUS; London
NUS also consulted with welfare officers at several students'
unions in compiling this submission.
National Union of Students
NUS is grateful to the welfare officers consulted in the compilation
of this evidence, and whose comments are included herein. Back
The Independent Committee of Inquiry into Student Finance (Cubie
Report); 2000; 35. Back
Undergraduate non-completion in higher education in England, Report
1; Yorke; HEFCE; 1997. Back
Report of the Access Funds and Hardship Loans Review (2000); DfEE;
Student Support Division 1; London. Back
Student Income and Expenditure Survey; DfEE; Callender; London;
2000; 275. Back
NUS Student Hardship Survey; London. Back
Student Income and Expenditure Survey (2000); Callender; DfEE;
Student Income and Expenditure Survey; Callender; DfEE; 2000;
Ibid.; 2000; 195. Back
Making the Right Choice; CVCP; 1999. Back
University College Worcester Student Union; 2001. Back
Quote from LSE Students' Union; 2001. Back
McKechnie et all; 1998; 49. Back
NUS' consultation with student advisors; 2000; 7 (Annex A, Part
University of Teeside Union, 2001. Back
Archer: Social Class and Access to Higher Education; Institute
for Policy Studies in Education; University of North London; 2000;
Independent Committee of Inquiry into Student Finance; 2000; 33. Back
Quote from NUS' consultation with student advisors; 2000; 8. Back
University of Teeside Union Advice Centre; 2001. Back
Not printed. Back
Archer: Social Class and Access to Higher Education; Institute
for Policy Studies in Education; University of North London; 2000;
Student Income and Expenditure Survey Callender; DfEE; 2000; xvi. Back
Annex : Interface between social security benefits and student
support; NUS, NASMA & AMOSSHE; 2000. Back
The Draft Social Security Amendments (Students) Regulations 2000:
Report by the Social Security Advisory Committee under section
174(1) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and the
Statement by the Secretary of State for Social Security in accordance
with section 174(2) of that Act, CM4739. Back
This only applies to students who are eligible for support under
the Student Support Regulations. Back
Social Security Amendment (Students) Regulations 2000. Back
Income Support (General) Regulations 1987. Back
SSAC report on the draft Social Security Amendment Education (Student
support) Regulations, //53ii; 2000. Back
Undergraduate non-completion in higher education in England, Report
1; Yorke; HEFCE; 1997; 15. Back
Blicharski; Disadvantaged Youngsters, in Preece (1998) Beyond
the Boundaries; NIACE; 1998; 31. Back
Figures based on statistics from UCAS, for more information, see
NUS Research paper, Equal Access or Elitist Entry?; NUS; 2000. Back
Ozga & Sukhnanadan; Report 2, Undergraduate non-completion
in higher education; HEFCE; 1997. Back
NUS notes the limited powers of the Committee in intervening in
these issues. Back