§ Mr. Freeman
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will review the qualifications for payment of mature student grants with a view to modifying the requirement that a student must have been in full-time employment for at least three of the previous six years to include part-time employment so long as an aggregate of three years full-time has been worked in the last six years.
§ Mr. Brooke
No. The older students allowance, which is paid as a supplement to the main rates of mandatory awards, recognises the financial commitments that a mature student who has been in full-time employment for a substantial period prior to starting his or her course is likely to have taken on and is intended to ease such a person's transition from full-time employment to higher education.