Andrew Smith, Labour MP for Oxford East, condemned the Tory government’s scrapping of maintenance grants and nursing bursaries
“Maintenance grants provide vital support for students from lower income backgrounds, both those from Oxford and those who come to study here. In 2015 they ensured that over 7,000 poorer students in Oxford did not leave further education with greater debts than their more privileged peers. In spite of Labour’s attempt to halt the Tories’ plans in the House of Commons, they have forced through sweeping changes which will scrap these grants.
“Bursaries for nursing education and training have provided crucial support for the students we need to attract to nursing and related professions. Replacing them with loans will load nurses with debt, and the repayment requirement amount to a future pay cut.
“These changes won't deliver fairness or sound public finances but could make poorer students think twice about going into higher education due to the considerable debts they will rack-up in the process. Put simply, the Tories have voted to hit students from the poorest backgrounds with an opportunity tax.