Since its foundation in 1990, the Student Loans Company has been growing.
It is the body which handles maintenance loans — loans which could be about to increase.
It has recently been reported that the government plans to reduce student maintenance grants before eventually removing them altogether. They plan to push students who currently receive grants into taking higher loans by increasing the amount of maintenance loan open to poorer students.
Working class students will be impacted the most by this, those who struggle to cover the “every day costs” of study. They will become part of a simple but effective plan: cut the grants and force the affected students into greater debt via a larger maintenance loan.
This is another assault on working-class students and the right to free education for all. It is a move consistent with a long history of government attacks on poorer students, aided by the creation of the Student Loans Company, and demonstrates the urgent need for a strong and successful free education movement.
The plan also fits into the government’s policy of austerity, which is an ideological attack on the working class across all sections of society as well as students.
Recognising the connection between student debt, austerity and class oppression, and challenging this on a socialist basis, is imperative.