University bosses call for student loans interest to be scrapped for 15 months

2 February 2021, 08:43

Royal Holloway
The Vice-Chancellors at Royal Holloway (pictured) are among those calling for the interest to be paused. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

The interest on student loans in England should be scrapped for 15 months, a group of top universities bosses says.

The vice-chancellors at seven universities in England are calling on the government to scrap interest on student loans for those whose education has been disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The period is from the first national lockdown, in March 2020, until summer 2021.

In December 2020, the government announced a one-off fund of up to £20million to help students most in need of support.

Now a further £50million will be available, taking the total to £70million for this financial year.

In a letter, seen by the BBC, to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, the vice-chancellors write that this move would ease pressure on students.

The letter, signed by vice-chancellors at East Anglia, Goldsmiths, Essex, Kent, Reading, Royal Holloway and Sussex universities, says: "The pandemic has placed unprecedented pressures on our students.

"In some of our universities, demands for hardship funds have increased by over 100 per cent.

"As a result of the pandemic, students also face extraordinary mental health challenges and 18 per cent of students lack access to a computer, laptop or tablet."

While studying, interest for students is 5.6 per cent. This is made up of the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3 per cent. RPI is currently set at 2.6 per cent.

This rate applies until the 5 April after students leave, or for the first four years of a course, unless the RPI changes.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid

Joe Biden cancels campaign event after testing positive for Covid-19, but insists 'you won't get rid of me easily'

Starmer is set to push for a migrant return deal with the EU

Starmer to push for new migrant return deal with EU, as he seeks to 'renew UK's relationship with Europe' at summit

Keir Starmer faces a challenge over the two-child benefit cap

Keir Starmer seeks to stave off Labour backbench revolt over benefit cap with child poverty taskforce

A man has been shot dead in Kirkby

Man shot dead on residential street close to Liverpool training ground, as police launch murder investigation

Joe Biden has hinted he could step aside from the race against Donald Trump for the White House

Biden hints he could quit election race against Trump on medical advice, as top Democrat calls for him to stand down

The scandal surrounding Strictly Come Dancing has deepened after footage showing former professional dancer James Jordan telling his celebrity partner Georgina Bouzova "kill you" surfaced on social media.

Strictly scandal deepens as footage showing ex-pro telling partner he will 'kill her' emerges

Liz Truss

Reference to Truss' 'disaster' mini-budget removed from King' Speech files after ex-PM complains to civil service chief

Police found "over a dozen" firearms at Crooks' home

Thomas Crooks' father 'called police on the day of the Trump rally shooting'

Cameron Jones left his dying fiancee Demi by the side of the road

Moment driver flees from car wreckage leaving fiancee to die - before he later blames her for horror crash

Kim Johnson wants the two-child benefit cap to be scrapped

Labour MP calls for two-child benefit cap to be axed as she plans King's Speech amendment after policy retained

Adele has played 90 shows in Las Vegas

Adele announces she is stepping back from music after growing to ‘absolutely hate’ fame

Two British travel agents are believed to be the pair found shot dead and their bodies burned in a car in Malmo.

British travel agents thought to be pair shot dead and burned in car in Malmo

Two dead and two children in hospital after house fire in Blackpool

Two die and two children rushed to hospital after house fire in Blackpool

Locals have been warned to avoid the area

Locals warned 'do not open your doors' as huge fire erupts on Birmingham industrial estate

Joe Biden his facing pressure to step down ahead of November's election.

Joe Biden wrongly claims he will cap rent rises at $55 in latest gaffe

A man accused of killing two people and dumping their remains in suitcases by Bristol's Clifton Suspension Bridge and in a flat 116 miles away has appeared in court.

Man accused of killing two and dumping their remains in suitcases on Bristol bridge appears in court