§ Mrs. Mahon
To ask the Prime Minister if the Departments of Social Security and of Employment and the Department for Education will jointly address funding of students aged over 19 years on full-time courses following the reduction in availability of discretionary awards.
§ The Prime Minister
Full-time higher education students at undergraduate level are generally eligible for a mandatory award, regardless of their age. The report of the independent survey of discretionary awards provision, published by the Gulbenkian Foundation on 8 April, estimates an increase of 20 per cent. in the total number of discretionary awards made between the 1990–91 and 1993–94 academic years.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education is currently considering his response to the Gulbenkian report. My right hon. Friends and their Departments regularly consult on matters of mutual concern, including student support.