Students stung with ‘cutbacks’

Doncaster College - The Hub.
Doncaster College - The Hub.

hundreds of mature students will be hit in the pocket under proposals to make them pay the full cost of their courses.

It is feared many of the 800 students aged 24 and over at Doncaster College who will be affected by the plans may have to give up their courses.

Currently the Government pays half their fees – but from 2013 it wants them to take out loans to cover the cost.

George Trow principal of Doncaster College said: “At Doncaster College we support over 13,000 adult students on their return to learning activity.

“The changes proposed will affect around 800 learners and in the current economic climate further changes like this one could affect our learners’ aspirations.

“We are concerned for these adults but we will do our best to lessen the affect in any way we can.”

The borough’s MPs have also attacked the Government plans to remove funding from hundreds of older students in Doncaster.

Caroline Flint, Rosie Winterton and Ed Miliband have warned that further education (FE) students aged over 24 face a “kick in the teeth”.

Don Valley MP Ms Flint said: “I’m really angry that after education maintenance allowances (EMA) have been stopped; university fees have been tripled; and youth unemployment in Doncaster has more than doubled – this is yet another kick in the teeth for people trying to get on.”

Doncaster Central MP Miss Winterton said: “I am very concerned that the Government’s proposals could lead to colleges around the country increasing fees, making it even harder for people to afford these courses.”

Meanwhile their Doncaster North colleague and Labour leader Mr Miliband said: “We need an economy that works for working people. The Government should support people who are improving their skills and who undertake courses, training and qualifications to get on in life.”