§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he will take to ensure increased levels of financial support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Jane Kennedy
Following the review of student support in Northern Ireland, means-tested bursaries were introduced for higher and further education students from low-income families. From September 2003, I will increase the maxima of these bursaries from £1,500 to £2,000, while also increasing the income threshold from £15,000 to £20,000. I will also increase the threshold used for assessing a contribution to tuition fees from £20,480 to £20,970 from 1 September 2003.