Shadow Universities and Further Education Minister Gordon Marsden MP and West Lancashire Council leader Ian Moran, visited Edge Hill University yesterday to have a tour of the campus and to sit down with a range of students as well as talking with senior management. He highlighted the threat of Government policies to the future of the University including scrapping maintenance grants and reducing the loan re-payment threshold.
Gordon Marsden said:
“Edge Hill is a shining example, as the 2014 national University of the Year award underlined, of a university with a great modern campus and a great range of valuable 21st century relevant academic and vocational courses. Edge Hill and its students make a vital contribution to facilities, spending and support of the local economy and surrounding area.
“But both the University and students are being affected by the policies of the current Tory Government. I heard their real concerns - worries about increased debt now Government is scrapping maintenance grants for those who most need them and will be forced to take out more loans. The Tory Government has changed the rules on repaying loans too. This means that when students get jobs, especially in the North where salaries are lower, they will face a tough time having to pay back the money sooner.
“No wonder hundreds of students came to Parliament to protest when we opposed the Government on those changes recently. Along with the cuts in funding and fall in numbers of adult learners that Edge Hill and other universities have seen since 2010, it’s both unfair and short sighted.
“If Edge Hill is going to carry on achieving excellence in its students who go on to work the NHS, social care, schools and creative arts, Government has to give them - and supportive Councils like West Lancashire -a break and stop hanging them out to dry "