Around 20,000 students are expected to be able to access the scheme, which will become available next year. Students with lower incomes will still be able to access existing grants.
“At the moment, part-time students can access grant funding but it is often not enough to cover the full cost of tuition and is means tested. The vast majority must self-fund their studies. Therefore I am pleased to announce a new, non-means tested, ‘top-up’ fee loan for such students.
“This combination of grants and loans for part-time tuition fee support was a key manifesto commitment for Alliance and is unique within the UK. It will vastly improve access to financial support for part-time students and ensure closer parity with their full-time counterparts.
“Introducing this improved support package is not only a matter of social justice for Alliance but an economic imperative the party knows we need to meet the increasing skills demands and the need to up-skill and re-skill our existing workforce.”